It is stated that the ACTUV will be "a first unmanned naval vessel that is designed and sized for theater or global independent deployment". The aim of the four part program is to develop a surface vessel optimized to overtly track and trail target submarines. A suite of sensors "capable of tracking quiet, modern diesel electric submarines" will be implemented into the completely unmanned vessel.
It is intended that ACTUV will operate under minimal supervisory command and control; with shore bases intermittently monitoring performance and providing high-level mission objectives through beyond line-of-sight communications links. The vessel will be provided with advanced autonomous navigation and anti collision features to keep it within maritime law and the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
It is hoped that the unmanned nature of the vessel will open up new technologies in terms of stability and sea keeping. The four part program will culminate in an integrated prototype vessel and sea trials following evaluation and design phases.
- ACTUV Tactics Simulator Game 
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