The RISE of the machines!!
Surface naval vessel a drone with formidable capability sans organic combat firepower [at least not yet]!
The ACTUV. "Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV)".
A drone surface naval vessel designed specifically to negate the threat of the very quiet diesel/electric submarine of the most advanced class. A drone with the mission to trail, "track", "follow", "shadow", and "stalk" those very quiet diesel/electric boats of the most advanced design. The most modern diesel/electric submarines perhaps relatively impervious to detection by the current anti-submarine warfare sonar [active and passive both] as available to the American navy?
ACTUV only one-sixth [1/6] the size of a conventional naval vessel, unmanned, able to operate more or less autonomously for up to three months at a time!! THE ACTUV PROTOTYPE TO BE SAILING AND TAKING TO THE HIGH SEAS WITHIN LESS THAT THREE YEARS NOW!!
And that cost of the ACTUV as compared to a conventional naval warship CHEAP!
Adversary diesel/electric submarines to be acquired and designated by ordinary under-sea warfare methods, the ACTUV then trailing at a distance, keeping in constant contact with the foe without taking hostile action [not able to assume a hostile stance].
From a variety of web sites including DARPA we have the latest dope.
"Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) "
"The Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) is developing an unmanned vessel optimized to robustly track quiet diesel electric submarines."
"Operational prototype at-sea testing is expected in mid-2015."
DARPA even inviting the general public to participate in naval anti-submarine warfare [ASW] simulations using a downloaded software a plug-in or adjunct to the "Dangereous Waters" ASW game. This is the RISE OF THE COMPUTER WARGAMERS!
"ACTUV Tactics Simulator Page"
"CAN YOU COME UP WITH A WAY TO KEEP TRACK OF ELUSIVE SUBMARINES THAT HAS NEVER BEEN THOUGHT OF BEFORE?"
"CAN YOU OUTSMART AN ENEMY SUBMARINE COMMANDER AND KEEP HIM FROM ESCAPING INTO THE DEEP?"
"DOWNLOAD AND PLAY THE ACTUV TACTICS SIMULATOR AND SUBMIT YOUR RESULTS TO DARPA TO HELP DEVELOP THE FUTURE OF ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE."
This is the ACTUV as originally conceptualized? Like an iceberg seven-eights [7/8] of the "ship" under the water!
"DARPA’s Next Sub Hunter Won’t Need Us Puny Humans"
"the ACTUV will be able to travel up to 3000km from its base, lurk around an area of ocean for up to a month, then pick up and trail a hostile sub over another 30 day stretch."
This is the SAIC concept of the ACTUV with artists conception. The ship with the two outriggers for stability even in the roughest seas and also those outriggers having sonar housings?
"SAIC Concept for the ACTUV was selected by DARPA for the autonomous ASW ..."
"human control is only required as the drone enters and exits a busy port. The ACTUV is expected to function for 60 to 90 days in rough to very rough seas, before returning to refuel and receive any repairs."
And from Gizmag see the gallery of images from which you can get a better handle as to how this warship will appear and function:
"DARPA's sub-hunting drone appears in concept video"
The ACTUV the mission of which according to the press releases to track , "follow", and "stalk" those most quiet diesel/electric submarines of the most advanced type. Very quiet submersibles, American conventional ASW sonar [passive for the most part] NO LONGER having a technological edge but now a DEFICIT?
Perhaps ACTUV is a response to the air-independent-propulsion [AIP] submarines of the GOTLAND class? Having leased a GOTLAND [with Swedish crew] and participated in naval maneuvers and war-games with the GOTLAND, it has become apparent to American naval planners that the AIP type sub is a formidable challenge to U.S. naval supremacy for which there IS CURRENTLY NO REMEDY?