Saab Seaeye

Saab Seaeye banks on another Sabertooth order

Michigan-based Hibbard Inshore has acquired a second Saab Seaeye Sabertooth underwater robotic vehicle.


Hibbard was first to adopt the Sabertooth technology for tunnel inspection, breaking their record with a 12 kilometre Australian run.

Sabertooth technology also enabled them to lead in water-filled tunnel inspection at speed and against flow – and negotiate more consecutive bends than conventional systems.

Also, Sabertooth can operate in six degrees of freedom and inspect all orientations of vertical shafts, bends and angles.

Technology that expands capability

In addition to their single hulled Sabertooth, Hibbard has also evaluated the double hulled Sabertooth.

This has led to the recent purchase and a vision of increasing their capacity to single and double hull vehicles.

The double hull Sabertooth scanned the longest water supply tunnel in South Korea and one hydro-electric tunnel in California.

Hibbard will further push Sabertooth to reach 20 kilometres or beyond from a single access point.

“The Sabertooth family of hybrid AUV/ROV multi-role vehicles has given us the ability to extend the range and conditions in which flooded tunnels can be inspected,” says company president, Jay Hibbard.

Compared to conventional ROVs, we have a more stable sensor platform, increased survey speed, longer range, higher tolerance for water flow, and the ability to perform both live tethered and autonomous operations.”

For Hibbard the versatility of the Sabertooth has revolutionised long tunnel inspection worldwide.

Head of Saab Seaeye Sweden, Johan Lundgren, said:

“We are excited to expand our joint efforts to push the borders of the Sabertooth family in civil engineering.”