Leidos recently finished testing its newest unmanned vessel called Seahawk and transported it from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to San Diego where it was delivered to the U.S. Navy. Seahawk is now part of the Navy’s Surface Development Squadron One, which recently conducted exercises that joined manned and unmanned systems. Seahawk, an upgraded version of Sea Hunter, is another significant step in the military’s adoption of unmanned platforms that use artificial intelligence to enhance the Navy’s capabilities.
Leidos has completed delivery of a cutting-edge autonomous vessel to the U.S. Navy, known as Seahawk. The Office of Naval Research awarded Leidos the cost-plus-fixed fee contract to build the vessel, with an approximate value of $35.5 million, in December 2017. Work was principally performed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Seahawk is a long-range, high-availability autonomous surface vessel with a composite trimaran hull.
This medium-displacement unmanned surface vehicle (MDUSV) will enhance capabilities for naval operations. Like Leidos’ MDUSV Sea Hunter, Seahawk is substantially larger than other U.S. Navy USVs and has significantly increased capabilities compared to smaller USVs in terms of range, seakeeping and payload capacity. Seahawk is designed to operate with little human involvement, thus providing a forward-deployed and rapid-response asset in the global maritime surveillance network.
In open sea testing, Seahawk behaved as expected in all categories including speed, endurance, and navigation and sensor functions. The trimaran’s displacement is 145 long tons. This includes 14,000 gallons of fuel that can power the twin diesel engines for a substantial length of time. Seahawk’s upgraded design follows an evaluation of over 300 lessons learned from Sea Hunter. These upgrades were based on joint evaluations by Leidos and the Navy and include upgraded electrical systems, a payload mounting system and test operator control station.