DARPA has been working on an ummaned semi-submersible for tracking submarines out in the open ocean. The concept has come under operational scurtiny (do you really want somebody doing this to US???) DARPA is pressing forward to see what the technology can do.

To figure out how to deal with the plethora of situations that may arise, DARPA has decided to "crowdsource" ideas on how to deal with likely situations. This has led to criticism, namely do you really want ANYBODY playing around with this and potentially coming up with counter tactics? Or building an understanding of how the technology might work? Or try to inject tactics into the program that "look good" but for which you have already developed counters too?

An interesting idea, with a number of controversial aspects. Once adapted for ASW use, there is the potential for similar applications for a number of MDA and irregular warfare problems.

How do unmanned things doing provacative things "in plain sight" affect "phase 0"? Is this an "arms race" we want to get spun up in? Is it a good idea to develop such capabilities in the "open"?

DARPA Press release:

Can you best an enemy submarine commander so he can't escape into the ocean depths? If you think you can, you are invited to put yourself into the virtual driver's seat of one of several Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) configurations and show the world how you can use its capabilities to follow an enemy submarine.

DARPA's ACTUV program is developing a fundamentally new tool for the Navy's ASW toolkit and seeks your help to explore how best to use this tool to track quiet submarines. Before autonomous software is developed for ACTUV's computers, DARPA needs to determine what approaches and methods are most effective. To gather information from a broad spectrum of users, ACTUV has been integrated into the Dangerous WatersTM game. DARPA is offering this new ACTUV Tactics Simulator for free public download. [https://actuv.darpa.mil]

This software has been written to simulate actual evasion techniques used by submarines, challenging each player to track them successfully. Your tracking vessel is not the only ship at sea, so you'll need to safely navigate among commercial shipping traffic as you attempt to track the submarine, whose driver has some tricks up his sleeve. You will earn points as you complete mission objectives, and will have the opportunity to see how you rank against the competition on DARPA's leaderboard page. [https://actuv.darpa.mil/LeaderBoard.aspx] You can also share your experiences and insights from playing the simulator with others.

As you complete each scenario in the simulation, you may submit your tracking tactics to DARPA for analysis. DARPA will select the best tactics and build them into the ACTUV prototype.