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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Submarine, DARPA, ACTUV