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USN receives Seahawk unmanned vessel

7th April 2021 - 17:17 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Composite hull of Seahawk, pictured during construction. (Photo: Leidos)

The design of the Seahawk medium USV reflects lessons learned from the predecessor Sea Hunter vessel.

Leidos announced on 7 April that it has delivered its Seahawk autonomous Medium Unmanned Surface Vessel (MUSV) to the USN.

It joins the USN Surface Development Squadron One (SURFDEVRON) in San Diego, California.

Seahawk was built under a $35.5 million contract awarded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in December 2017.

The result is a ‘forward-deployed and rapid-response asset in the global maritime surveillance network,’ Leidos noted in a 7 April statement.

Seahawk (originally known as Sea Hunter II) is a long-range autonomous surface vessel with a composite trimaran hull. The MUSV displaces 145t and its twin diesel engines carry up to 14,000 gallons of fuel.

Like the similarly sized Sea Hunter (previously built by Leidos for the ONR), Seahawk offers ‘significantly increased capabilities compared to smaller USVs in terms of range, seakeeping and payload capacity’, the manufacturer stated.

Leidos also noted that Seahawk includes upgraded electrical systems, a payload mounting system and a test operator control station. The design of the MUSV  reflects ‘an evaluation of over 300 lessons learned from Sea Hunter’, it added.

Dan Brintzinghoffer, Leidos VP for maritime solutions, said: ‘We didn't just put an autonomous navigation system onto an existing ship. Every mechanical and electrical system on Seahawk has unique configurations designed to run for months at a time without maintenance or a crew.’

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