Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) announced today it was awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design a concept for a new autonomous unmanned surface vessel to help counter the modern threat submarine. The contract has a six month period of performance and a total value of $2 million. SAIC is one of six companies selected for Phase I of the DARPA Program.
Officially named the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) Phase I, the program involves a broad range of activities which include: concept exploration; technology surveys; wargaming; risk assessment; and production of a concept design, construction plan and preliminary performance specification. Efforts will focus on innovative approaches to achieve low costs for an unmanned surface vessel that is capable of maintaining continuous autonomous track of a threat submarine over its entire operational deployment. Success of this program is particularly dependent on the autonomy aspects which include the maritme rules of the road, undersea warfare missions and sustained at sea operations. Future Phases II - IV, to be offered under a separate solicitation, will include detailed design, prototype construction and testing.
"This win positions SAIC to take a leadership role in the development of maritime autonomous, unmanned surface vessels," said Pete Mikhalevsky, SAIC senior vice present and operations manager. "We will leverage our most significant work in autonomy and unmanned systems and marry it with our strong integration capabilities. We are excited about the tremendous opportunities for this visionary program which pushes the envelope in unmanned autonomous systems and could have application to a broad range of navy and commercial maritime missions."