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The U.S. Navy’s Sea Hunter unmanned surface vessel has become the first ship of any description to ever sail from San Diego, California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and back without the need of a crew for navigation and steering. It’s a significant milestone for this particular vessel and its future cousins, which the service has primarily been developing as anti-submarine warfare platforms, but could also provide electronic warfare support and acting as decoys to help shield friendly forces.

Defense contractor Leidos, which is leading the Sea Hunter project for the Navy, announced the achievement in a press release on Jan. 31, 2019. The notice did not say when the trimaran craft, formally known as the Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV), had left from or returned to San Diego, a round trip of more than 5,200 miles. Previous reports noted that the vessel had first arrived at Pearl Harbor on Oct. 31, 2018.

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Category: Science