Science and technology provider Leidos has announced that their Sea Hunter and Seahawk autonomous vessels have travelled the equivalent of three-world circumnavigations.
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They reached the 65,000 nautical mile milestone during the Rim of the Pacific Exercise.
According to the company, the Sea Hunter is the US Navy’s only autonomous ship greater than 40 feet that is also approved to operate for periods over 24 hours without crew.
“Delivering the proven autonomous capability provided by Sea Hunter and Seahawk in the Maritime domain is a genuine success for naval capability,” Vice Admiral (Ret’d) David Lewis, Leidos senior vice president, Maritime. “These platforms have crossed oceans to reliably deliver war-fighting effects to our sailors. We are proud to be making a difference for those on the front line.”
Information from Leidos explained that the Sea Hunter program commenced in 2014 between DARPA and Leidos. The objective of the program was to develop an uncrewed anti-submarine vessel, able to detect and trail an adversary’s submarines for 90 days and 10,000 nautical miles.
The development of such capabilities required additional research according to the company, to ensure optimal hull design, navigation, collision avoidance, and mission control and behaviours requiring virtual and live testing.
“Sea Hunter and Seahawk prove that surface vessels designed and purpose-built to be autonomous are reliably operating on the high seas and delivering strategic advantage to our Armed Forces,” said Lewis.
“We are thrilled to have achieved such a significant milestone.”