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Job description for AUV Operations Lead

If you are excited by the prospect of working with industry leading subsea technology in a challenging environment, then this could be the ideal opportunity for you. The AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) team are looking for an Operations Lead to join them as part of the wider SALMO (Salvage and Marine Operations) department.

Our SALMO team is the lead across the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the provision of marine salvage and emergency response. Our specialists including Master Mariners, Marine Engineers, Naval Architects, Environmental Scientists, ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) Pilots and Divers provide a centre of expertise for subsea activities and marine operations. Our operations are varied and include salvage assistance to damaged surface vessels, location of aircraft on the sea-bottom, survey of WWII wrecks, towage of warships and submarines, emergency response preparedness exercises and underwater engineering support to resolve defects on Navy platforms at home and overseas.

We will provide you with the necessary training and help you on your journey to becoming an experienced Operations Lead.

Please be advised that this post is based at a location within 10 miles of MOD Abbey Wood and, due to security, this role is reserved for sole UK nationals only. Please also note that the successful applicant will be required to undertake Developed Vetting clearance once in the post.

Responsibilities for AUV Operations Lead

The AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) team delivers a discrete capability within SALMO using cutting edge commercial AUV technology to provide deep water survey outputs in support of SALMO and wider MOD objectives.

As AUV Operations Lead, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Deploy afloat to deliver the in-service operation of the AUV system, circa 10 – 12 weeks a year
  • Lead and direct as an integral part of the AUV team, overseeing a variety of roles, including the day-to-day leadership of all aspects of capability availability, delivery and performance both ashore and afloat
  • Be responsible for developing systems and standard operating procedures as well as being the subject matter expert for AUV Operations
  • Lead in the planning and organisation of pre-and post-deployment activity including procurements and customer relationship management
  • Manage equipment preparation/maintenance, project liaison, operational planning and documentation, and safety management
  • Lead a team of multi-disciplinary Engineers and Operators including staff management activities in line with DE&S policy and process

This role is subject to Retained Grade Terms and Conditions and differ from the DE&S (Defence Equipment & Support) standard Terms and Conditions. These are detailed in the SALMO Retained Grade handbook.

For SALMO Retained Grades seeking promotion refer to Part 2, Section 10.2 of the SALMO Retained Grade Handbook.

Due to the nature of this role, you must meet the following:

  • Be fit to pass and maintain a 2 yearly ENG1 seafarers medical (no geographical limitations)
  • This assignment is open to sole UK nationals only
  • Be required to enlist as a Royal Navy Sponsored Reserve
  • Be expected to work extended hours as and when required in support of operational commitments
  • Be required to live within 60 minutes travelling time of the base to which you are appointed
  • Have an in date current UK Driving Licence

Person specification

To be successful with your application, you’ll need to show that you meet the following essential criteria:

  • You will hold a relevant Bachelor’s degree (i.e., Level 6 or higher) qualification in a relevant marine or engineering orientated subject, or be able to demonstrate a relevant level of professional experience
  • You will have relevant, demonstrable offshore or marine operations experienceof AUV deep water systems
  • You will demonstrate you understand safety management, including requirements for safe systems of work and risk
  • You will have demonstrable experience of leading teamsof multi-disciplinary Engineers and/or Operators

It would also be great if you can demonstrate any of the following desirable criteria:

  • Experience of maintaining and managing systems transferable to deep water AUV and/or marine offshore operations
  • Evidence of operational planning and execution to deliver project, services, or activities

In addition to the responsibilities above, the following technical competences and behaviours will be assessed at interview:

  • Improve Engineering Capability – Practitioner
  • Technical Decision Making – Expert
  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing


We’re pleased to offer a generous benefits package to support everything from your work-life balance to your bank balance, including:

  • 26.5 days holiday a year, increasing to 31.5 days per year after 5 years of service, plus 1 day a year up to 30 days, 8 bank holidays and a day off for the King’s birthday
  • A market-leading employer pension contribution of around 27 percent, an annual performance-based bonus, and recognition awards
  • Flexible and hybrid working wherever possible, to support your work-life balance (though some attendance to the stated site is required)
  • Funding for qualifications and subscriptions to professional associations, with plenty of opportunities and support for progression
  • A huge range of discounts including retail, sports, leisure, restaurants, gifts, days out, holidays, cinema, motoring, insurance, health care, gym memberships, and more
  • Up to six days of paid leave a year for volunteering
  • Enhanced maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave schemes, offering 100% pay for 26 weeks (after a qualifying period)
  • We champion a diverse and inclusive environment, where everyone can be themselves and give their best. We believe that by harnessing the power of different ideas, experiences, and perspectives, we can achieve our ambitions, together. If you have a disability or additional need that requires accommodation, please let us know.
  • Discover more in our Little Book of Big Benefits and pension schemes

Please click the link below to apply for AUV Operations Lead by creating an account and uploading your details.


Job Details

Job title

AUV Operations Lead


£63,825 – £69,000 per annum (plus generous benefits).

Contract type


Business area


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time



Number of posts


Recruitment contact

Emily Harrold – DE&S Talent Acquisition Specialist –

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