AN UNDERWATER robot manufacturer will open a new multi-million-pound centre in Hampshire creating up to 75 jobs.

Saab Seaeye, the world’s largest manufacturer of e-robotic underwater systems, which has its head office in Segensworth, is further expanding its operations to a create a new £35m marine engineering hub at a space, also in Segensworth.

As part of the plans, there will be a purpose-built building for an eight-metre deep tank for research and development into Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and subsea autonomous systems.

A larger space will act as the companies new headquarters which also be occupied by a national centre for academic and commercial training on Marine Robotic systems along with additional factory space for manufacturing which is currently undertaken at the Segensworth site.

Additional space will also be made available to the local business community.

The 75 new jobs include a number of apprentice, graduate and experienced engineering and manufacturing roles in addition to the 147 already employed.

In a report to the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, company bosses say the project will significantly complement and enhance the Solent’s existing expertise in the marine industry.

In a statement, they added: “The management team plan to showcase Seaeye as a centre of excellence for marine robotic technology systems to the rest of the UK and internationally.

“There is a real need for a Test Tank and Engineering facility for collaborative use so that they can continue to develop industry-leading engineering and technology solutions and win further international customers.”

Among their achievements include developing designs for the Flying Fish, a flying submarine which could revolutionise underwater warfare and the Falcon in 2015 a remote controlled underwater vehicle.

The company is also seeking a £2.5m grant from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnerships’ Solent Innovation Fund.

Cllr Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council said: “I went to visit the business, it’s an amazing technology and I will be happy to support their growth proposals. Advanced Marine Engineering is a strong industry in Fareham and Saab Seaeye is a very important employer and I am delighted to see them expand.”