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Science & Technology

DARPA reveals autonomous submarine hunter

February 13, 2016 | Comment icon 10 comments



The ACTUV can operate on its own for months at a time. Image Credit: US Navy / DARPA
The new vessel, which does not require a human crew, is designed to scour the ocean for enemy submarines.
First announced six years ago, the ACTUV ( Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel ) is scheduled to be launched in April from the Vigor Shipyards in Oregon.

Measuring only 132ft in length, the autonomous vessel's primary goal will be to track down enemy submarines however it can also be used to deliver supplies to other US Navy vessels.

Designed to help the US maintain naval superiority over rising powers such as China, the ACTUV can remain at sea and operate completely on its own for 60 to 90 days at a time.
"Picking up the quiet hum of a battery-powered, diesel-electric submarine in busy coastal waters is like trying to identify the sound of a single car engine in the din of a major city," said Rear Admiral Frank Drennan.

"Instead of chasing down these submarines and trying to keep track of them with expensive nuclear powered-submarines, which is the way we do it now, we want to try and build this at significantly reduced cost."

"It will be able to transit by itself across thousands of kilometers of ocean and it can deploy for months at a time. It can go out, find a diesel-electric submarine and just ping on it."

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (10)



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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Lucas Cooper Merrin 6 years ago
Skynet looms one step closer
Comment icon #2 Posted by Leonardo 6 years ago
And how does it distinguish between an "enemy" submarine and a civilian one? Okay, there aren't many non-military submarines around, but does this mean all those that do exist have to have some special IFF code so they won't be targeted by the robot? And wouldn't this mean the US military would then have automatic tracking of any civilian submarine?
Comment icon #3 Posted by jarjarbinks 6 years ago
someone will hack this and start ww3
Comment icon #4 Posted by Why not 6 years ago
I really wish I could move to another planet.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Otto von Pickelhaube 6 years ago
Seems a very sensible idea. From the article I presume it'll just track submarines and won't be armed, although the article doesn't make that clear. Rather like sonobuoys dropped from aircraft, only it wouldn't just stay in one place. It would certainly be a good way of multiplying one's assets, as generals and Admirals insist on saying these days. As for how it would distinguish friend from foe, I presume the operators monitoring it would know where friendly submarines were supposed to be.
Comment icon #6 Posted by highdesert50 6 years ago
I would not be surprised if this was intended to surveil and interdict narco-submarines.
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
I would not be surprised if this was intended to surveil and interdict narco-submarines. That was my thought as well.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Otto von Pickelhaube 6 years ago
Let's just hope it doesn't confuse the dolphins.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Aardvark-DK 6 years ago
Some drones we know, started as unmanned surveillance...and look how they are performing now...
Comment icon #10 Posted by Otto von Pickelhaube 6 years ago
Well, some pictures of it just in.. http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/darpa-released-official-images-of-its-cutting-edge-sub-1759509928


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