Things That Can Kill You In the Ocean, Part XII: Sea Drones

So you’re in a submarine, safe beneath the ocean waves. You’re pretty safe, right? Wrong. Apparently DARPA is working on Sea Drones that will follow ships and subs as they make their way across the briny deep, reporting positions and potentially going boom-boom if they feel like it. It’s all concept right now, but it’s pretty compelling.

The three main objectives of the program are to build an “X-ship” that operates without anyone stepping aboard at any point in its operating cycle, secondly to demonstrate the technical viability of the system under “sparse remote supervisory control”, and thirdly to demonstrate the anti-submarine capability of the vessel and its “novel suite of sensors”. The ACTUV is unlike other unmanned vessels in that it is designed for global, independent deployment for months at a time.

Defensetech makes some important points about unmanned vehicles in a shipping lane, but wouldn’t it be cool if the drones looked like the squids from Matrix? I would totally want to ride one.