Blackfish Robotic Marine Defense Project


Currently being developed by defense contractor QinetiQ in collaboration with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), “Blackfish” is a robotic jet-ski designed specifically to patrol harbors and search for underwater intruders. The remote-controlled craft carries an array of sensors that allow it to “see” under water and can travel at speeds of 40 mph (64 km/h) as well as tracking at lower speeds than conventional jet-skis.

The marine-defense project is a response to long standing concerns about port security that stem from the suicide attack in 2000 in the port of Aden, Yemen, which caused the deaths of 17 sailors “Blackfish is ideally suited for port and harbor security, and in particular for swimmer detection and the detection of other threats near critical assets,” Jennifer Pickett, Director of Communications for QinetiQ. “Beyond port and harbor security, there are several other missions that could be applicable for Blackfish, including Coast Guard missions, immigration/border protection, shoreline protection, and surveillance for piracy, smuggling and other illegal maritime activities.”

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