Sea Hunter USV Autonomously Navigates from California to Hawaii

Published: 31 Jan 2019

Sea Hunter USV

Leidos has announced that the Office of Naval Research (ONR)’s Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vessel (MDUSV), Sea Hunter, became the first ship to successfully autonomously navigate from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and back without a single crew member onboard, except very short duration boardings by personnel from an escort vessel to check electrical and propulsion systems.

Leidos designed and built the 132-foot-long Trimaran, Sea Hunter, which is the first autonomous, unmanned vessel capable of travelling for long periods of time and execute a variety of missions at a fraction of the cost for a manned ship. This recent achievement is part of an extended test phase.

“The Sea Hunter program is leading the world in unmanned, fully autonomous naval ship design and production,” said Gerry Fasano, Leidos Defense Group President. “The recent long-range mission is the first of its kind and demonstrates to the U.S. Navy that autonomy technology is ready to move from the developmental and experimental stages to advanced mission testing.”

Sea Hunter will continue long duration and mission package testing throughout 2019. ONR awarded Leidos a potential $43.5 million contract to develop Sea Hunter II, which is currently under construction in Mississippi. The sister ship will be evolved based upon lessons learned during the first Sea Hunter build, evolving mission requirements, and further development of autonomy enhancements.

“Our talented team of engineers, scientists and analytical experts have decades of experience that will allow us to deliver a second highly autonomous vessel designed to keep our servicemen and women safe while monitoring the maritime environment,” said Fasano. “We’re excited to showcase our unique and innovative capabilities for a program of great national significance.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.