A file photo.
ANNAPOLIS (BNS): Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $2 million contract to Northrop Grumman for the development of the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV).
Under the contract, the company will develop a concept, specifications and a manufacturing plan by the end of March 2011 for a persistent, autonomous vessel that can perform both ASW tracking and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance functions.
The ACTUV is intended to trail and monitor targets autonomously.
A collection of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and advanced, customized sensors would provide the ACTUV's command and control system with the situational awareness it needs to respond to target behaviors.
High-fidelity surface-navigation sensors and system constraints would help ensure compliance with the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and with maritime law.
"Our ACTUV solution will include a feasible vehicle that will be capable of quickly transitioning into an operational system – like the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk, which flew in just 33 months," Robert DuBeau, Vice president of Northrop Grumman's Undersea Systems business unit, said.
"With our extensive experience in undersea and surface systems, we are well positioned to advance the state of the art in USVs."
The ACTUV will lead the way for a new class of ocean-going unmanned surface vessels (USVs).