So a couple of notices came across my professional desk recently related to the US Navy's MUSV
(medium unmanned surface vessel) program and the related DARPA Sea Train
Early days, but fascinating stuff. The prototype MUSV - a 195-foot vessel based on existing commercial
workboats - is supposed to be at sea in two years - but we all know how government
contracting runs. Has to be capable of autonomous operation at sea for 60 days with no human intervention (this is not like most strike drones where a pilot sits remotely but maintains continuous human-in-the-loop control). Prime contractor is L3Harris
, who says they already have 115 USVs delivered.
The DARPA program is trying to get the speed and fuel
benefits of a longer waterline while being able to split off to multiple MUSVs once the train arrives in theater.
If we talk on CF ad-nauseam about single-handers maintaining proper watch what does that mean for zero-handers? And the programming on these vessels will certainly be to follow COLREGs to the letter.
Found it interesting, thought others here on CF might as well.