Fox News on February 18, 2016, reported that The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that pioneers tech for the US military has created the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program. Oregon-based company Leidos is working with the agency to develop the groundbreaking ship. Excerpts below:
Without a human crew, this drone vessel will be able to execute important missions independently like tracking and trailing an enemy sub over thousands of miles – not just for a day or two, or even a few weeks – this drone could hunt the enemy for months.
The ACTUV enemy submarine hunter is expected to be about 130 feet long. DARPA has announced that it will be revealed for the first time on April 7 when it will also be christened in Portland, Oregon.
In addition to hunting enemy subs, ACTUV will be capable of a wide range of missions, such as reconnaissance and counter-mine deployments. It could also be useful to resupply troops.
The rise of tough-to-detect and track diesel electric submarines poses a significant challenge to the U.S. Navy. ACTUV is designed to excel at tracking these ultra-quiet subs.
ACTUV…could roam the oceans for thousands and thousands of miles executing missions.
For next level tracking, the vessel will be armed with state-of-the art sensors allowing it to detect the quietest of enemy subs. The idea is that it will be nearly impossible for a hostile sub to slip the ACTUV when the unmanned vessel is on its tail.
Despite being smaller than traditional subs, the ACTUV will be able to achieve speeds that exceed diesel electric propulsion submarines – and for a fraction of the cost.
When ACTUV enters service, it will give the U.S. military a range of advantages. Rather than send out a destroyer or a nuclear sub, ACTUV could be deployed, freeing up those assets and keeping costs down.
After the big reveal in April, ACTUV will continue to be tested and refined.