DARPA awards contracts to three companies for Sea Trains program

By Justin Katz / September 16, 2020 at 10:12 AM

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded contracts to three companies to begin work on a new program to overcome certain limitations on unmanned surface vessels.

Applied Physical Sciences Corp., Gibbs & Cox Maritime Solutions and InMar Technologies received contracts to work on the Sea Train program, according to a statement DARPA published on social media.

A public notice stated the contract awarded to Applied Physical Sciences Corp. was worth up to $31 million.

A DARPA spokesman told Inside Defense today that Gibbs & Cox was awarded an other transaction agreement valued at roughly $30 million; Inmar Technologies was awarded an OTA valued at roughly $28 million.

DARPA's new program is seeking to overcome limitations USVs have while traveling in rough waters by sending vessels in certain formations.

"A key limitation of USVs is their restricted operational ranges due to increased wave-making resistance inherent with smaller platforms," the agency wrote in a program announcement earlier this year.

"At-sea refueling, use of heavy-lift ships, strategic airlift, and increasing overall vessel size are all solutions to this limitation but are fraught with operational vulnerabilities against peer adversaries," the announcement continued.