Home SCIENCE World’s Largest Anti-Submarine “Robot” Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV)

World’s Largest Anti-Submarine “Robot” Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV)

DARPA has successfully completed its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program and has officially transferred the technology demonstration vessel, christened Sea Hunter, to the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

source/image: DARPAtv

ONR will continue developing the revolutionary prototype vehicle—the first of what could ultimately become an entirely new class of ocean-going vessel able to traverse thousands of kilometers over the open seas for month at a time, without a single crew member aboard—as the Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV).

source/image: DARPAtv

The handover marks the culmination of three years of collaboration between DARPA and ONR that started in September 2014.An April 2016 christening ceremony marked the vessel’s formal transition from a DARPA-led design and construction project to a new stage of open-water testing conducted jointly with ONR.


That same month, the vessel moved to San Diego, Calif., for open-water testing.ONR plans to continue the aggressive schedule of at-sea tests to further develop ACTUV/MDUSV technologies.

Including automation of payload and sensor data processing, rapid development of new mission-specific autonomous behaviors, and exploring coordination of autonomous activities among multiple USVs. Pending the results of those tests, the MDUSV program could transition to U.S. Navy operations by 2018.