As part of continuing efforts to improve military operations at sea, the US Navy this week took delivery of a cutting-edge autonomous craft dubbed the “Seahawk” from science and technology firm, Leidos.
The $35 million unmanned surface vessel (USV) has a composite trimaran hull for improved range, seakeeping, and payload capacity during naval operations, according to the Leidos press release. The Seahawk is also designed to operate with a minimum of human intervention, enabling faster and more forward military interventions at sea.
A 14,000-gallon fuel capacity can power its twin diesel engines for extended periods. Additionally, the vehicle has upgraded electrical systems, a payload mounting system, and a test operator control station for better sailing.
“As technology continues to accelerate and adversaries become more sophisticated, our customers must constantly evolve,” Leidos Vice President and Navy Strategic Account Executive Nevin Carr said. “We are honored to provide this latest technological advancement to America’s sailors who fight to keep the seas open and free.”
Meanwhile, Leidos Vice President for Maritime Solutions Dan Brintzinghoffer explained that every mechanical and electrical system in the new vessel has a distinctive set-up. “We didn’t just put an autonomous navigation system onto an existing ship,” he said. The systems are “designed to run for months at a time without maintenance or a crew.”
Part of Latest Navy Strategy
The arrival of the Seahawk is likely to play an important role in the realization of the US Navy’s ambitious plan to expand its military presence at sea.
Last month, the country’s maritime forces announced that it will establish a division to test and develop a new generation of unmanned surface vessels.