The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has chosen L3Harris Technologies to design an ‘autonomous surface ship concept’.

The company was selected for Phase I of the two-phase ‘No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS)’ programme.

L3Harris said that the company’s design concept will involve optimising NOMARS’ construction, logistics, operations, as well as maintenance life-cycle.

The design concept features an advanced operating system capable of making decisions and determine actions on its own without need for direct human interaction.

It will support the US Navy’s future missions by optimising ‘autonomous surface ship operations’.

L3Harris has partnered with VARD Marine to evaluate the concept and design of the architecture and hull. The two companies also partnered on the design of mechanical and electrical systems.

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L3Harris Integrated Mission Systems president Sean Stackley said: “L3Harris continues to pioneer innovative autonomous solutions that offer fully automated and integrated ship control and preventative maintenance systems to the US Navy and its allies.

“The NOMARS programme selection reinforces our commitment to deliver highly reliable and affordable autonomous solutions that transform the way the US Navy conducts its future missions.”

L3Harris has so far delivered more than 125 unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and optionally manned vehicles.

The company’s USVs are operated by the US and other international navies, universities, research institutions, as well as commercial businesses.