While researching new drone stories to share with our readers, I stumbled upon this interesting article discussing a new unmanned ship “designed to hunt submarines.” The Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel or ACTUV is a drone ship developed by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in partnership with Vigor Industrial.
Obviously limited information is available because of the anti-submarine use-case, but the following details were provided:
DARPA has said it’s preparing to test the ship at sea this spring.
It says the ship is designed to operate at long-range for months at the time, possibly without intervention from any humans. That could include, as DARPA puts it, “autonomous interactions with an intelligent adversary.”
The ship is docked at Portland Spirit River Cruises. The company’s owner, Dan Yates, said the ship would be christened their next month before it heads out to sea.
Interestingly enough, DARPA was also kind enough to share this video:
DARPA’s Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) seeks to develop a new type of independently deployed unmanned surface vessel (USV) that would track adversaries’ ultra-quiet diesel-electric submarines over thousands of miles at a fraction of current costs. ACTUV would operate under sparse remote supervisory control and safely follow the maritime “rules of the road” for collision avoidance known as COLREGS.
ACTUV Concept Video
About the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military.
DARPA was created in February 1958 as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Its purpose was to formulate and execute research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science, with the aim to reach beyond immediate military requirements.
The name of the organization changed several times from its founding name ARPA: DARPA (March 1972), ARPA (February 1993), and DARPA (March 1996).
DARPA is independent from other military research and development and reports directly to senior Department of Defense management. DARPA has about 240 employees, of whom 13 are in management, and close to 140 are technical staff.