THE US NAVY'S NEW SEA TRAIN
DARPA'S Impressive Tech R&D Project for US Navy
This is a highly impressive and innovative new project by DARPA, the US Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency.
DARPA is developing unmanned surface ships (USVs) that would physically link together like train cars to cross the ocean as a sea
train. Linking the ships together lets them overcome wave resistance and make much longer trips with much greater efficiency. The Sea Train concept envisions many unmanned ships physically linked together to traverse oceans and grow the US Naval fleet.
Naval Force of Unmanned Vehicles
The Navy is investing in all sizes of USVs, including large 300 ft. ones and medium sized ones of 39 to 154 feet. DARPA's Sea Train project is focused on the medium sized USVs that are more efficient, more difficult to detect but less capable of making long journeys. The Sea Train concept should extend their travel distances across oceans significantly.
The system will operate this way. The ships will rendezvous at sea, tether and make their long distance trip together. They would form a virtual autonomous ship capable of travelling thousands of miles without refueling. The ships would disperse at their destination, carry on their respective missions and then re-congregate and sea train back to their base. DARPA now has the Sea Train under development. It could be operational within this decade.