Say hello to Sea Hunter. That’s the new name for DARPA’s autonomous warship, which is designed to seek-and-destroy submarines without a crew aboard.
The ship used to be called ACTUV before it got its new name on Thursday in Portland, Oregon. We’ll admit that Sea Hunter sounds much better than ACTUV—which stands for Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel—but it does sound a bit like something out of a 1980s movie, doesn’t it?
Anyhow, the entirely new class of ship is considered to be a game changing feature in naval warfare: It is unmanned, has autonomous navigational capabilities and can be operated safely in all weather and traffic conditions, day or night. Impressive.
The remotely piloted 130-foot twin-screw trimaran is now ready for open-water testing. It’ll have to prove it’s able to traverse thousands of miles over the open seas for months at a time with nobody on board. And at some point, one assumes, it’ll also have to prove that in can live up to its name.