The world's largest drone ship
This was a breakthrough project for the US Defence Force. Bowmaster was asked to design an entirely new deployment system for an autonomous vessel, something which had never been done before.
Sea Hunter is an unmanned surface vehicle launched in 2016 as part of the DAPRA Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel programme.
The vessel was to be used for minesweeping and mine hunting around the globe and would work in some challenging waters. The anchor deployment system needed to be versatile to perform in a range of ocean conditions.
Bowmaster had worked on many underwater deployment systems before, but not for such a high-speed vessel. This, combined with the vessel being unmanned, made this project a different type of challenge for the Bowmaster team.
Furthermore, space on Sea Hunter was limited as the vessel is highly electronic and autonomous. These confined boundaries created further challenges for the team – trying to design a perfect system in a small space.
Creating an underwater anchor system for an unmanned high-speed craft was not straight forward. It required constant collaboration. The Bowmaster team worked hand-in-hand with the project design engineers. This partnership ensured the Bowmaster team and the client were always on the same page.
The Bowmaster team explored and provided a series of options for the project designers to consider. These different options gave the client a series of capabilities in terms of how the anchor system could be utilized. As the vessel was to be high-speed and unmanned, every part of this project was bespoke; the power source, the deployment method, and the way the system worked.
It was a huge group effort to create the final product. The collaboration between the design team, Bowmaster and the shipyard ensured the system operated exactly as per the design specification.
The final product was a reliable and robust, fully remote operated anchor system for an industry leading vessel. A project Bowmaster were proud to be a part of.