Foxtrot Alpha’s first known image of DARPA’s sub-hunting drone

(From Foxtrot Alpha)

By Tyler Rogoway

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s initiative to build a long-endurance unmanned ship that will hunt and track the quietest submarines on Earth has come to fruition. The image above is the first glimpse ever of the potentially revolutionary Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel or ACTUV, also known as Sea Hunter.

Artist's conception of DARPA remote submarine hunter

Artist’s conception of DARPA remote submarine hunter

Sea Hunter is being developed in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research and the Space and Naval Systems Warfare Command. Engineering industry innovator Leidos and Oregon Iron Works, which is known for its exotic and shadowy ship designs, designed and constructed the exotic experimental vessel.

The ship is set to be christened in April, but she is already in the water at Portland’s Swan Island ship building and maintenance facility as local photographer Paul Carter, who took the image above, recently discovered.

The 132 foot long robotic sub-hunter is the largest purpose-built unmanned ship ever created. As you can see in the image above, an auxiliary pilot house has been fitted on its sail for initial trials. The design’s trimaran hull was chosen for its stability, efficiency and speed, allowing it chase submarines over extreme distances in open ocean. Read more; See photo




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