On April 7, 2016, DARPA held a christening ceremony for the technology demonstration vessel it has developed and built through the Agency’s Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program. Approximately 100 guests attended, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work and senior U.S. Navy and government officials.
Taking place in Portland, Oregon, the event marked the vessel’s formal transition from a DARPA-led design and construction project to a new stage of open-water testing to be conducted jointly with the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The christening, which included the traditional breaking of a ceremonial bottle over the bow by DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar, signifies the beginnings of an entirely new class of ocean-going vessel—one able to traverse thousands of kilometers over the open seas for month at a time, without a single crew member aboard. Potential missions include submarine tracking and countermine activities.