DLBA, a Gibbs & Cox Division, Advances to the Next Phase of DARPA’s Long-Endurance Unmanned Surface Vessels Program

OCTOBER 7, 2021

The No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS) program pursues novel USV concepts and enabling technologies.

CHESAPEAKE, VA, OCTOBER 1, 2021 – With the proposal and management spearheaded by DLBA leadership, Gibbs & Cox Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, was selected to perform additional work in Phase 1 Track A of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS) program. It is managed out of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. The DLBA team, now fully underway and under the leadership of Gibbs & Cox and Leidos, aims to design a ship that can operate autonomously for long durations at sea while exploring novel approaches to the design of the seaframe.

Now named to perform additional work in Phase I, the team will be creating the preliminary concept design at a rapid pace which will include the integration and evaluation of the components revealed during the initial concept development stage. With technical specifications and drawings in hand, the company will build a scale model to test hydrodynamic capabilities.



“We are exceedingly pleased that DARPA is recognizing our efforts and is continuing to trust our team to carry this project with additional work in Phase I,” said Dr. Justin Lorio. “Our team has been developing concepts and designs for decades and we understand surface vessels. We are looking forward to integrating these enabling capabilities into designs that will be lasting for the U.S. Navy.”



Gibbs & Cox was selected for the concept development phase, in October 2020. During that initial stage, the team along with additional industry subject-matter experts, explored the various domains of unmanned boat-building: hull, mechanical and electrical systems; self-adaptive health monitoring and predictive analytics; power generation, distribution, and energy storage; as well as advanced depot based maintenance concepts. Clean-sheet vessel design has been the focus without any provision for crew on board. This nine month concept development stage ended in June 2021.



The next and final phase will be detailed design and delivery of an “X-ship” seaframe that can be used for demonstration, testing, and future ship design experiments. 


DLBA Naval Architects is an operating Division of Gibbs & Cox, Inc. focusing on small craft, high performance craft, and advancement of maritime technologies.  Gibbs & Cox is the largest naval architecture and marine engineering firm in the United States. Since our founding in 1929, 24 classes of combatants and nearly 7,000 vessels have been built to G&C designs. We proudly support military and commercial clients in the U.S. and internationally with all phases of marine design, construction, and lifecycle management.  Our passion is solving our customers’ 21st century maritime challenges with quality and integrity.  Gibbs & Cox is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos.



The information contained in this article is considered business sensitive and company proprietary, and is not to be copied or distributed in any form without the written permission of Gibbs & Cox, Inc.

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