Seahawk Autonomous Vessel Delivered to U.S. Navy

By Mike Ball / 07 Apr 2021
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Leidos Seahawk USV

Leidos has completed delivery of the state-of-the-art Seahawk autonomous USV (unmanned surface vessel) to the U.S. Navy. The Office of Naval Research awarded Leidos a contract worth approximately $35.5 million to build the vessel, with work principally being performed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Seahawk is a long-range, high-availability autonomous medium-displacement unmanned surface vehicle (MDUSV) with a composite trimaran hull, designed to enhance capabilities for naval operations. Like Leidos’ MDUSV Sea Hunter, Seahawk is substantially larger than other U.S. Navy USVs and has significantly increased capabilities compared to smaller USVs in terms of range, seakeeping and payload capacity. Seahawk is designed to operate with little human involvement, thus providing a forward-deployed and rapid-response asset in the global maritime surveillance network.

The displacement of the fully loaded vessel is 145 long tons, including 14,000 gallons of fuel that can power the twin diesel engines for a substantial length of time. Seahawk’s upgraded design, based on joint evaluations by Leidos and the Navy and incorporating lessons learned from Sea Hunter, include upgraded electrical systems, a payload mounting system and test operator control station.

Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, Leidos Vice President and Navy strategic account executive, commented: “As technology continues to accelerate and adversaries become more sophisticated, our customers must constantly evolve. We are honored to provide this latest technological advancement to America’s sailors who fight to keep the seas open and free.”

Dan Brintzinghoffer, Leidos Vice President for Maritime Solutions, said: “We didn’t just put an autonomous navigation system onto an existing ship. Every mechanical and electrical system on Seahawk has unique configurations designed to run for months at a time without maintenance or a crew.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion 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. Connect & Contact