The concept for the unmanned vessel was born in 2010 out of the Pentagon’s so-called mad science wing, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.
The Pentagon’s request via DARPA was colossal: Develop a drone warship capable of hunting submarines, detecting torpedoes as well as avoiding objects at sea while traveling at a top speed of 27 knots, or 31 mph.
Six years later, the crewless, 140-ton, 132-foot-long robotic ship, was christened as Sea Hunter on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.
“The project is usually classic DARPA, not only game-changing yet paradigm-bending,” Paul Scharre writes in “Army of None: Autonomous Weapons as well as the Future of War.”
“Sleek as well as angular, in which looks like something time-warped in via the future,” adds Scharre, a former U.S. Army Ranger as well as senior fellow at the Center for a brand-new American Security. “which has a long narrow hull as well as two outriggers, the Sea Hunter carves the oceans like a three-pointed dagger, tracking enemy submarines.”
On hand for the ship’s 2016 christening was then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, who referred to the vessel’s narrow bow as a “Klingon Bird of Prey” via the “Star Trek” series.
“This particular will operate wherever the United States Navy operates,” Work told reporters after the ceremony. “in which can operate inside the South China Sea. in which can operate inside the Baltic Sea. in which can operate inside the Persian Gulf. as well as in which can operate inside the middle of the Atlantic or the middle of the Pacific.”
“These will be everywhere,” he added.
After its unveiling in 2016, Sea Hunter was transferred to the Navy for nearly two years of testing off the coast of California. Since the drone ships’ inception, the Navy as well as Leidos have been hesitant to provide updates on its future role.