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U.S. Navy to Deploy Underwater Battle Robots

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August 4, 2016
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The U.S. Navy just got one step further into the future of defense.The Sea Hunter, a 132 ft. autonomous submarine, just passed it's performance test off the coast of San Diego. This keeps the craft on course to formally enter the Navy fleet in just two years.The autonomous sub was developed by Leidos, who released a statement saying, "[Sea Hunter] met or surpassed all performance objectives for speed, maneuverability, stability, seakeeping, acceleration/deceleration, and fuel consumption, as well as establishing confidence in mechanical systems reliability in an open-ocean environment. Sea Hunter is designed to operate for extended periods at sea with no person on board and only sparse supervisory control throughout deployment. While initial vessel tests require a pilot on board the ship, later tests are planned to have no personnel on board."


Once the submarine is fully operational, it will be able to complete missions up to 3 months in length without a single human being aboard. The craft will also require very little remote control, and what it does need can be performed from thousands of miles away.The Sea Hunter, and other vehicles like it, will help the U.S. Navy to stay on top of some of the stealthier vehicles patrolling the world's oceans. China's diesel-electric submarines are a perfect example, as they had previously been a growing concern. This type of sub is harder to trace, much quieter, and cheaper than other existing technology. These aquatic vehicles could potentially interrupt global commerce or block specific coastal areas. The Sea Hunter was initially developed to track these diesel-electric subs, but the Navy is quickly realizing the versatility of it's newest technology.“What we’ve kind of realized over the course of the program is that it’s a truck,” DARPA program manager Scott Littlefield told IEEE Spectrum. “It’s got lots of payload capacity for a variety of different missions.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsDivRmGIVI

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