SAIC to develop ACTUV prototype
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design, build and test a new prototype unmanned autonomous surface vessel. The award, with a value of $58 million, was issued under the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) programme.
The DARPA ACTUV programme aims to develop an unmanned autonomous surface vessel with the ability to track a quiet diesel-electric submarine overtly for months over thousands of kilometres, with minimal human input.
SAIC provided conceptual design services in phase one of the programme, creating an innovative wave piercing trimaran solution, and this contract pushes the development of the vessel through phases two through four.
The award will see SAIC provide a final design and production plan for the ACTUV prototype in phase two, construction of the prototype is scheduled to be completed in phase three, and government testing in phase four.
According to the company, SAIC will build on the phase one concept and design, build, and demonstrate an experimental vessel capable of independently deploying under sparse remote supervisory control, to achieve ‘a game-changing ASW operational capability, with the ultimate objective to facilitate rapid transition of that capability to the navy in response to critical operational demand’.
Pete Mikhalevsky, SAIC senior vice president and operations manager, said: ‘Drawing on SAIC's technical depth in marine hydrodynamics, ship design, sensors, and advanced autonomy, we're confident that the SAIC team will meet or exceed DARPA's requirements for ACTUV, a revolutionary autonomous maritime vessel. This exemplifies the kind of technical innovation that is the hallmark of SAIC solving our customers' toughest problems.’
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