The project is structured around the main goal of tracking enemy submarines. Though it's not weapons-equipped, ACTUV can be useful not only to address a serious emerging threat but as an intelligence collection ship with zero human error.
The relatively small size of 140 tons and 40 meters in length makes the ship maneuverable and highly enduring with up to 90 days of work in a row. Its maintenance cost ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 per day, according to the portal Gizmodo.
DARPA's hunter could dramatically change naval combat for years while taking into consideration upcoming Russian developments. This year Russia will complete work on development of underwater robots. A new generation of robots is due to be put into service by the Russian Armed Forces in the coming years. Unlike American vehicles, the Russian vessel could not only serve as a spy, but also to attack the enemy with equipped weapons.
Russian underwater machines are believed to be released into the water from a typical submarine. They will be able to create the boat's participation effect and to use weapons if necessary.
ACTUV is part of the Third US Offset Strategy, which is expected to provide the country with significant military superiority over any competitor. The US military is going to spend $18 billion to implement the project. According to Sergei Safronov, Deputy General Director of the Design Bureau "Malachite", the United States spends on the creation of submarines three times as much as Russia does.