Thursday, April 26, 2018
The first warship to traverse open waters without a single crew member recently joined the U.S. Navy's fleet after eight years of development and testing. And now nearly every element of the vehicle, known as the Sea Hunter, has become classified. "About all I can tell you is that it has transitioned from [the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] to the Navy, and that's a success in the world of science and technology," said Rear Adm. Nevin Carr. "And that's a good thing, because that means that there's a there there."
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 from DARPA was colossal: Develop a drone warship capable of hunting submarines, detecting torpedoes and avoiding objects at sea while traveling at a top speed of 27 knots, or 31 mph.
"Sleek and angular, it looks like something time-warped in from the future," adds Scharre, a former U.S. Army Ranger and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. "With a long narrow hull and two outriggers, the Sea Hunter carves the oceans like a three-pointed dagger, tracking enemy submarines."
"This will operate wherever the United States Navy operates," Work told reporters after the ceremony. "It can operate in the South China Sea. It can operate in the Baltic Sea. It can operate in the Persian Gulf. And it can operate in the middle of the Atlantic or the middle of the Pacific."
"These will be everywhere," he added.
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