The United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that it is moving into phase 2 of its ‘No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS) program’, which ‘seeks to build and demonstrate a revolutionary new medium unmanned surface vessel (MUSV) that can go to sea and perform missions with unprecedented reliability and availability, while carrying a significant payload.’
In phase 1 of the NOMARS programme, Serco described the NOMARS platform as ‘designed to drastically decrease the Navy’s cost per mission hour with a reduced platform size, zero onboard manning, and a unique ability to stay on mission longer. Medium USV platforms are envisioned as capable of extending the reach of larger manned combatants. Able to observe and contest large swaths of the mission space, USVs could enable virtually embarked warfare commanders to be everywhere at once.’
Relatedly, the U.S. Navy is also seeking to develop and procure three types of large unmanned vehicles for use at sea, as detailed in a recent U.S Congressional Research Service report.
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