The United States Department of Defense is in the initial stages of developing “unmanned drone submarines” that will navigate oceans across the globe, “tracking and following enemy subs for months at a time,” RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.
Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), tasked with developing new military technologies, began the project since “the growing number of adversaries able to build and operate quiet diesel electric submarines is a national security threat that affects US and friendly naval operations around the world,” the report adds, citing a statement posted on DARPA’s website.
The drone subs would potentially be capable of patrolling US coastlines for up to 80 days at a time covering thousands of kilometers using non-conventional sensor technologies that “achieve robust continuous track of the quietest submarine targets over their entire operating envelope,” adds the DARPA’s statement.
The main task of the oceanic drone will be to “patrol the waters for enemy submarines and then chase them away if located,” the report adds, citing Discovery News. “The sub will also gather information deemed necessary by the US government, which will then be sent to US naval commanders up above on land.”
DARPA awarded a $58 million contract in August to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for design and construction of a prototype of the vessel.