Piranha Unmanned Surface Vessel

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The Piranha Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV or unmanned surface vehicle) is a watercraft developed by Zyvex Marine (a division of Zyvex Technologies, formerly Zyvex Performance Materials) in 2010. The boat is 54’ in length and weighs just 8,000 lbs. The Piranha is the first USV to utilize a lightweight carbon-nanotube enhanced composite material called Arovex, which allows the watercraft to weigh "significantly less" than any other USV.[1][2]

The weight advantage from Arovex gives the Piranha a payload capacity of 15,000 lbs and a range of over 2,500 miles. Additionally, the carbon-nanotubes actually provide a strength increase of 20-50% over traditional materials.[3] With those characteristics, the Piranha is expected to be sold as a possible tool for anti-piracy, search and rescue, submarine hunting, and harbor patrol.[4]

The first Piranha began construction in February 2010 with an anticipated completion date of summer 2010.[5] The Piranha underwent sea trials near Seattle's Puget Sound during the months of October and November 2010. [6]

The Piranha concluded approximately 6 months and 600 nautical miles of sea trials in Washington state and Oregon state on April 4, 2011.[7]


  1. ^ Brown, Alan S. (March 2010). "Positive Reinforcement". Mechanical Engineering. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  2. ^ Hanlon, Mike (24 February 2010). "Nanotube-reinforced carbon fiber Piranha USV". Gizmag. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  3. ^ Brown, Alan S. (March 2010). "Positive Reinforcement". Mechanical Engineering. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  4. ^ "Zyvex Performance Materials Unveils the Nano-enhanced Piranha USV". NetComposites. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
  5. ^ "Pirahna USV built using nano-enhanced carbon prepreg". Reinforced Plastics. 19 February 2010. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Unmanned Surface Vessel to have sea trials on Puget Sound". ThreeSheets NW. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Super Light-Weight Nano-Carbon Fiber Boat Piranha Completes Sea Trials Demonstrating Record Fuel Efficiency". PR Newswire. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011.

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