U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, congratulated Leidos and Gulfport’s United States Marine Inc., on securing a $35 million contract to develop, test, and build Sea Hunter II, the second of a planned series of autonomous unmanned ships.
“This particular type of ship is becoming a critical component of the Navy’s efforts to leverage cutting-edge technologies and project American power on the seas,” Wicker said. “I am proud of the work our state’s shipbuilders are doing to provide our sailors with a powerful tool to track and destroy underwater threats.”
The Sea Hunter vessels are designed to operate autonomously in the open seas for months at a time to perform countermine, submarine tracking, and other potential missions. Navy officials envision fleets of similar vessels being used to augment manned ships and complete complicated missions with minimal human interaction.
Leidos developed the first Sea Hunter vehicle in partnership with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Ageny (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research. The Office of Naval Research competitively sourced the Sea Hunter II contract. Leidos will partner with United States Marine to build the Leidos-designed vessel primarily in Gulfport and Long Beach, Miss. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 13, 2020.
Wicker has been an avid supporter of creating a 355 ship Navy, as seen in the video above.