indicate that the Royal Australian Navy has used the Saab “Double Eagle”
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to investigate an uncharted wreck, believed to
be a submarine, which was found during the conduct of Operation RENDER SAFE
2011 off Rabaul in Papua New Guinea, on 26 October 2011. Data on the images
shows the Double Eagle was at a depth of approximately 50 metres with over 400
metres of tether deployed.
wreck was discovered in a joint activity by the New Zealand Navy survey ship
HMNZS Resolution and the Australian Minehunter HMAS Gascoyne.
Operation RENDER SAFE is the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to
enduring explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) support to the nations of the
south-west Pacific, being conducted over the period 18 October to 4 November
2011. The Double Eagle is a purpose built ROV that is designed to enable
inspection and neutralisation of submerged EOD.
shown by the RAN activities, ROVs are an essential tool for all various types
of subsea investigation and observation. The Double Eagle incorporates a
manipulator arm capability that could possible be used to recover items from
the submarine to aid in further identification of the wreck. Many navies
worldwide now operate specialist ROVs such as the Double Eagle together with
more general purpose vehicles such as the Saab Seaeye “Falcon” for underwater
intervention work. A tethered ROV enables real time control and intervention
activities in the sea beyond diver depth.
Image of possible submarine wreck captured by Double Eagle colour camera
Seaeye “Falcon” ROV fitted with a Manipulator Skid