US firm reveals new generation of unmanned underwater vehicles

The U.S.-headquartered Leidos is developing new unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) that are planned to feature advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and sensing capabilities, among others.

US firm reveals next-gen unmanned underwater vehicles
Source: Nauticus Robotics

Leidos announced two UUVs that will feature technology to support commercial and military activities.

Along with Nauticus Robotics, the company is developing a larger UUV for subsea exploration jobs that can be dangerous or impossible for human divers, including mapping the ocean floor, studying sea life, as well as monitoring water pollution.

The second UUV, designated as Viperfish, will support the U.S. Navy through oceanographic sensing, data collection, mine countermeasures, and more.

“Over the last few years, we’ve reached a place where we can realize the promise of UUVs by integrating reliable AI, powerful lithium batteries, synthetic aperture sonar sensors (SAS) and greater onboard processing power,” said Leidos Maritime CTO and retired Navy officer Chuck Fralick.

According to Leidos, the vessels, along with the unmanned surface vessels (USVs) Seahawk and Sea Hunter, can perform a range of jobs without hazarding human divers.

Over time, the UUVs will be capable of completing longer and more challenging missions, adapting fluidly to changing parameters and mitigating subsystem failures, the company added.

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