Hi-tech USV undergoes sea trials ahead of delivery to US

Essex, United Kingdom, 4 July 2023: SEA-KIT International is preparing to deliver on its export deal with American autonomous maritime solutions provider, ThayerMahan. Connecticut-based ThayerMahan ordered a SEA-KIT X-class Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) last year, having seen the 12-metre design proven on numerous commercial operations around the world.

This latest USV, X107T – the seventh X-class to leave SEA-KIT’s production facility in the East of England, boasts several enhancements and technology developments. These include a new winch system, developed by SEA-KIT to integrate with the company’s proprietary G-SAVI virtual helm station, that will enable deployment of large, towed arrays and sensors down to 3,000 metres. The company has also further developed G-SAVI, taking the technology another step towards becoming a fully classed autopilot system whilst continuing to advance its situational awareness suite.

ThayerMahan plans to use the USV to support introduction of the technology into government service, as well as for its own activities in US and international waters. X107T’s hi-tech specification will stand it in good stead for the levels of scrutiny expected for military and security applications, as well as having a positive impact on the company’s future commercial builds.

Mike Connor, President and CEO of ThayerMahan, said: “The flexible payload on SEA-KIT’s USV design, coupled with its ability to operate near silently for long periods of time, will enable us to continue our leadership stance in remote and autonomous mobile acoustic sensing and sense making. By improving maritime domain awareness efficiencies with this vessel, we ultimately keep people safe while protecting critical infrastructure and the ocean environment.”

The USV is currently undergoing extensive sea trials in the UK before being shipped to the US to commence operations stateside later this summer. The X-class design fits inside a standard shipping container, making it cost-effective to ship overseas.

Ben Simpson, CEO of SEA-KIT, said: “Once X107T is operational, SEA-KIT will have vessels working in the Middle East, Asia, Australia, all over Europe and in the US. This USV will take on quite different tasks and missions to the commercial craft, which demonstrates the versatility of the X-class design as a safe platform for any payload. The UK’s leading position in maritime autonomous systems is clearly drawing international interest, which is testament to everyone involved in the sector here.”

About SEA-KIT International

SEA-KIT International is a British SME providing hi-tech, Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) solutions to the maritime, ocean science and research industries for deployment in harsh offshore environments. SEA-KIT aims to be the UK’s leading USV designer and developer, focused on over-the-horizon deployment of systems and sensors for a range of applications, including maritime logistics, environmental management, security and surveillance, offshore asset monitoring, marine inspection, ocean science and efficient survey of the ocean floor. Through ongoing collaboration with industry partners, SEA-KIT is sharply focused on driving down the cost of geo-data collection and reducing the sector’s carbon emissions.


About ThayerMahan

ThayerMahan designs, builds, operates and sustains autonomous maritime surveillance systems for customers in government, industry and academia. ThayerMahan leverages automatic classification algorithms, machine learning, and cloud-based solutions to protect shipping, ports, critical infrastructure, and the ocean environment. ThayerMahan is headquartered in Groton, Connecticut, USA.


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