The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced No Manning Required, Ship (NOMARS) program to develop a long-endurance autonomous ship.
“The No Manning Required, Ship (NOMARS) program will design, build, and field-test an unmanned surface ship that can operate autonomously for long durations at sea with no human interventions or underway maintenance”, according to a presolicitation notice posted on the Federal contracting website.
According to DARPA, the NOMARS program will challenge the traditional naval architecture paradigm by starting with a clean-sheet ship design process that eliminates design considerations associated with the crew. NOMARS focuses on exploring novel approaches to the design of the seaframe (the ship without mission systems) while accommodating representative payload size, weight, and power.
NOMARS is a two-phased program. Phase 1 will explore the NOMARS design space from Conceptual Design Review (CoDR) through Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and system definition.