DARPA Done Its Turn

DARPA Done Its Turn February 5, 2018

DARPA has successfully completed its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) programme, with the official transfer of Sea Hunter to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for continued development of the prototype as the Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV). 

Collaboration between the agencies started in September 2014. In October 2016, DARPA and ONR began at-sea testing of Sea Hunter’s sensing and autonomy suites. “ACTUV represents a new vision of naval surface warfare that trades small numbers of very capable, high-value assets for large numbers of commoditized, simpler platforms that are more capable in the aggregate,” said Fred Kennedy, DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO) director. 

ONR plans additional at-sea tests to further develop ACTUV/MDUSV technologies, including automating payload and sensor data processing, rapidly developing new mission-specific autonomous behaviors, and exploring autonomous coordination among multiple USVs. Pending test results, MDUSV could transition to U.S. Navy operations by 2018.

Issue 79