SAIC is engaged in Phases 2, 3 and 4 of the ACTUV submarine program to design, develop, and conduct sea trials of an unmanned vessel that is capable of tracking diesel electric submarines, covering thousands of kilometers of sea with reduced man power. Particularly, Phase 2 is the ‘Design a vessel' stage and Phase 3 is the ‘Build a vessel' stage, while Phase 3 is the ‘Test a vessel' stage. Phase 1, which dealt with the refinement and validation of the system concept, is already completed.
If successful, the ACTUV submarine program will deliver a superior technology to the US Navy and reduce the navy’s manpower expenses in addition to other benefits. Operational unmanned submarine sea trials are slated to commence between the second quarter and third quarter of 2015.
DARPA's ACTUV program manager, Scott Littlefield stated that the vessel will feature robust autonomy ensuring safe operations according to maritime laws, advanced software, and advanced sensors to constantly track enemy submarines. In addition, the program creates foundational technologies for upcoming unmanned naval systems.