Navy’s Sea Hunter USV Showcased in Major Project Demonstration

Sea Hunter pulls into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, last year. The unmanned ship was recently featured in a major demonstration using an advanced sensor. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Corwin M. Colbert

RESTON, Va. — Leidos’ unmanned ship, Sea Hunter, was recently featured in a major demonstration using an advanced sensor, the company said in a Sept. 19 release. 

The new milestone comes less than a year after the ship voyaged from San Diego to Hawaii with no personnel on board. Including the return trip, this transit covered about 5,000 nautical miles. 

The Office of Naval Research project was supported by the Naval Information Warfare Center-Pacific, Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Newport and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to explore how unmanned vehicles can be used as a naval force multiplier and allow warships to be available for other missions. 

The exercise also showcased the open architecture and flexibility of Sea Hunter, which has hosted a variety of mission payloads, including airborne sensors. 

“This exercise offered valuable lessons learned on how to take full advantage of a medium unmanned surface vehicle, with no personnel on board,” said Nevin Carr, Leidos Navy’s strategic account executive. “Autonomous vessels, especially when combined with artificial intelligence, have the potential to impact naval warfare in ways yet to be discovered.”