- Designed to hunt down silent and deadly diesel-electric submarines
- Robot boats will go to sea for us to three months at a time
The US Navy is set to unleash an army of ‘ghost drones’ to scour the coasts for enemy submarines.
The robot boats will go to sea for us to three months at a time.
The project began in 2010, when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, announced that they were building a 132-foot autonomous boat to track quiet, diesel-powered submarines.
The program was dubbed Anti-submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, or ACTUV.
In six weeks of tests along a 35-nautical mile stretch of water off of Mississippi earlier this year, testers at engineering company Leidos and DARPA put the ACTUV’s systems through 100 different scenarios.
The test boat was able to tail a target boat at 1 kilometer’s distance, something military bosses say is a major step forward.
‘Picking up the quiet hum of a battery-powered, diesel-electric submarine in busy coastal waters is ‘like trying to identify the sound of a single car engine in the din of a major city,’ says Rear Admiral Frank Drennan, commander of the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command.