Leidos has successfully delivered a medium-displacement unmanned surface vehicle (MDUSV) to the US Navy designed to deliver enhanced naval capabilities.
Known as Seahawk, the advanced autonomous vessel was built under a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract awarded by the Office of Naval Research in December 2017.
The contract carried an approximate value of $35.5m.
The development work on the vessel was carried out by the company on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Leidos vice-president and navy strategic account executive rear admiral Nevin Carr said: “As technology continues to accelerate and adversaries become more sophisticated, our customers must constantly evolve.
“We are honoured to provide this latest technological advancement to America’s sailors who fight to keep the seas open and free.”
Designed as a long-range, high-availability autonomous surface vessel, Seahawk features a composite trimaran hull.
Similar to Leidos’ MDUSV Sea Hunter, Seahawk is ‘substantially larger’ than other US Navy USVs.
Seahawk’s design follows an evaluation of more than 300 lessons learnt from MDUSV Sea Hunter.
According to Leidos, these upgrades were based on joint evaluations by Leidos and the US Navy. They include upgraded electrical systems, a payload mounting system and a test operator control station.
Compared to smaller USVs, Seahawk has ‘significantly increased capabilities’ in terms of range, seakeeping, and payload capacity.
The MDUSV vessel is designed to operate with little human interaction, providing a ‘forward-deployed and rapid-response asset in the global maritime surveillance network’.
Leidos Maritime Solutions vice-president Dan Brintzinghoffer said: “We didn’t just put an autonomous navigation system onto an existing ship.
“Every mechanical and electrical system on Seahawk has unique configurations designed to run for months at a time without maintenance or a crew.”
The trimaran has a displacement of 145 long tonnes when fully loaded. The vessel’s twin diesel engines are powered by 14,000 gallons of fuel.
Late last month, Leidos secured an IDIQ contract to support the US Naval Array Technical Support Center (NATSC).