DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has launched and is testing a Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) for the US Navy. This vessel is designed to operate as a robot to detect submarines on long range missions of thousands of miles. Over the next two years the prototype will be tested before deployment.
The images and videos shown here have a pilot house on the vessel which will not be seen on the final version. This vessel reached 27 knots during her first sea trial. Estimated cost for construction is 15-20 million for each and 10-15 thousand dollars for daily operation. This is a fraction of what current craft cost to build and operate. The craft will be monitored by seamen full time when operating, but must be able to function safey in regard to other craft keeping a look out using radar and sonar.
There are numerous challenges facing the tri-hull vessel to meet legal standards for ships at sea as well as performing its mission of detecting submarines and other craft. The 130 foot vessel has been christened "Sea Hunter" in Portland, Oregon where it was launched and will be moved to San Diego for further testing and sea trails.
"Sea Hunter" was built of fiberglass by the nearby yacht manufacturer Christensen Shipyards where fiberglass is commonly used for mega yacht construction.
Sea Hunter Nestled Between Two Mega Yachts
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