US-based security technology provider Leidos has completed initial performance trials of an unmanned technology demonstration vessel off the coast of San Diego, California.
The company is developing the vessel for the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program.
The 40-metre trimaran, christened ‘Sea Hunter’ at a ceremony in April, met all performance objectives for speed, manoeuvrability, stability, seakeeping, acceleration/deceleration and fuel consumption.
‘Sea Hunter’ is designed to operate for extended periods at sea with no person on board and only sparse supervisory control throughout deployment.
While initial vessel tests require a pilot on board the ship, later tests are planned to have no personnel on board.
The completion of ‘Sea Hunter's’ performance trials is the first milestone in the two-year test program co-sponsored by DARPA and the Office of Naval Research.
Testing in upcoming months is scheduled to include testing of sensors, the vessel's autonomy suite, compliance with maritime collision regulations, and proof-of-concept demonstrations for a variety of US Navy missions.