The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has transitioned a prototype of an unmanned anti-submarine warfare vessel to the Office of Naval Research for further development.
DARPA said Tuesday the Sea Hunter vessel was developed under the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel program to serve as the first unit of a potential new class of unmanned maritime vessels.
ACTUV will be renamed as the Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle under ONR.
“As ACTUV transfers from DARPA to ONR, ONR is looking forward to continuing and capitalizing on the science and technology work,” said Robert Brizzolara, a program officer for MDUSV at ONR.
“In particular, we are already working on autonomous control, a challenging area that is key to maturing MDUSV and delivering it to the fleet,” Brizzolara added.
ONR plans to conduct additional at-sea tests of ACTUV/MDUSV technologies to develop mission-specific autonomous behaviors and demonstrate autonomous coordination among unmanned surface vehicles.
MDUSV is slated to transition to the U.S. Navy by 2018, subject to the results of at-sea tests.
DARPA and ONR initially partnered in September 2014 to fund an extended ACTUV test phase, then went on to run several tests involving Sea Hunter.