Austal debuts new unmanned naval vessel designs

The US arm of Australian shipbuilder Austal (ASX: ASB) has displayed a range of catamaran and trimaran unmanned naval vessels for the first time.

The company, which builds ferries and naval vessels in Australia, the Phillipines and the US, used the Sea Air Space 2019 expo in Washington DC to unveil its new unmanned surface vessel (USV) designs.

There is intense interest globally in autonomous, unmanned naval platforms but this is Austal’s first foray into the space.

Its USV designs have two or three hulls, and are up to 110 metres in length, a size which could pack massive firepower.

Their control systems utilise artificial intelligence and machine learning, and would be networked into the masses of data gathered and analysed by various platforms in future battle environments.

The vessels are aimed squarely at the US Navy’s emerging requirements for unmanned vessels of various sizes.

Austal USA builds two classes of aluminium ship for the USN – the littoral combat ship, and the expeditionary fast transport ship.

Picture: Austal USA

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