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A prototype autonomous ship known as the Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV) has officially been transferred to the U.S. Navy from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) after a two-year testing and evaluation program. Named “Sea Hunter,” the Office of Naval Research will continue to develop the vessel from this point forward.
Although there’s no specific timetable for when the Sea Hunter would join active naval operations, the statement from DARPA indicated that it could happen as early as this year. The anti-submarine warfare vessel could be the first of an entirely new class of warship.
originally posted by: toysforadults
Have machines largely replace special warfare operations to an extent already?
The military's new made-in-Oregon drone ship, designed to spend months at sea without any human crew, could be spotted in recent weeks cruising the Willamette and Columbia rivers, occasionally spending time at a highly visible dock near Tilikum Crossing.
But after a christening ceremony Thursday morning, Sea Hunter will set sail for San Diego for two years of sea trials to see whether it can live up to the dream of a completely unmanned naval ship.
The $23 million ship is intended to track other nations' diesel-powered submarines for months at a time with minimal human intervention. It will use onboard sensors to detect and avoid other vessels, and its onboard computer will make maneuvering decisions in accordance with maritime law.
"We didn't want a remote-control vessel," said Scott Littlefield, the project manager for DARPA. "We actually wanted something that could behave appropriately and do complicated missions under what we call 'sparse human control.'"
originally posted by: lordcomac
a ship with no crew sounds like a great target for scrappers, or just about any foreign government to hijack.
The trimaran design lends itself to endurance, sea keeping, and speed, which will be necessary for keeping up with sprinting diesel submarines as well as those that are running slow and quiet for long periods of time.
DARPA's Unmanned Submarine Stalker Could Change Naval Warfare Forever