# Why is only a single underwater robotic submarine Bluefin-21 being deployed in the search for MH370?

As my question states, why is only a single Bluefin-21 being deployed underwater to scan the seabed with an area of around 40 square miles?

Why aren't multiple Bluefin-21's getting deployed when deploying multiple machines would make the search faster when everything here is a very time consuming process?

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cost and availability, it is very expensive to deploy the thing –  ratchet freak Apr 17 '14 at 13:44
@ratchetfreak I would say only availability. If you deploy 1 for 10 days or 10 for 1 day, the cost remains unchanged –  Federico Apr 17 '14 at 14:06
If you deploy 1 for 10 days or 10 for 1 day, the cost remains unchanged very nice point. –  SRy Apr 17 '14 at 14:32
@Federico that assumes no other fixed costs, getting the ship supporting ship out there takes fuel and when it is there it can remain there for a few weeks and deploy several days in a row –  ratchet freak Apr 17 '14 at 14:36
Would you rather fly 10 AUVs to Australia, then fly them back the next day, or just fly 1 down there and let it stay a while? Shipping isn't cheap. –  fooot Apr 17 '14 at 20:56

## Bluefin-21

Why not multiple Bluefin-21's

There is only one Bluefin-21.

The other Bluefins 12S, 12D, 9M etc are mostly for shallow water work.

## Other AUVs

The Bluefin-21 is not the only commercial Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) equipped with side-scan sonar.

The US Navy has spent \$20M on an order for eight Knifefish (a Bluefin-21 derivative) but these are not due to enter active service until 2017. They are for mine-detection and so (I surmise) may not be well suited to deep-ocean usage.

The Royal Navy has a number of REMUS 600 AUVs but these are not designed for use deeper than 600M

It may be that most existing AUVs equipped with side-scan-sonar are not capable of deep-ocean use.

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Judging from the fact that they are replacing dolphins and operating from Littoral Combat Ships, I would say they are not designed for deep-water use. –  fooot Apr 17 '14 at 14:49

Most of capable AUVs belong to offshore drilling companies like Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell. Some are also operated by deep sea cable companies.

The various armed forces operate only a handful of these AUVs, and because they are quite expensive, not many marine science institutes have them.

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