The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) prospective ACTUV robot ship for spotting submarines in shallow waters has received a new sonar, bringing the prototype to near completion, IHS Jane's reported.
The new Raytheon-made sonar allows the ship, which is an unmanned trimaran, to carry out search missions and call in manned ships to destroy submarines. The unmanned ship is expected to begin testing in early 2016.
"Designed to autonomously conduct active and passive searches, detect torpedoes, filter passive threats, localize and track submarines, and avoid small objects, the MS3 is Raytheon’s first fifth-generation medium-frequency hull-mounted sonar system," IHS Jane's reported.
The new ship is meant to counter increasingly stealthy diesel-electric submarines made by Russia and China.
"Equipped with air-independent propulsion systems and advanced lithium-ion batteries, the next generation of diesel-electric boats will even be harder to track down and destroy in the event of a naval conflict," The Diplomat previously reported.
In order to counter this "asymmetrical threat" the US military DARPA kicked off a project aimed at designing a US Navy robot ship capable of tracking enemy diesel-electric subs.