The Korea Herald


HD Hyundai unveils uncrewed vessel concept at US expo

By Park Se-ra

Published : May 9, 2024 - 17:14

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A concept image of HD Hyundai's upcoming uncrewed surface vessel Tenebris (HD Hyundai) A concept image of HD Hyundai's upcoming uncrewed surface vessel Tenebris (HD Hyundai)

Korean shipbuilding giant HD Hyundai said Thursday that it has unveiled a prototype for its upcoming uncrewed surface vessel Tenebris at this week’s AI Expo for National Competitiveness in Washington, DC.

The recent unveiling, a collaboration with US tech firm Palantir Technologies, comes after the two firms signed a memorandum of understanding in April to jointly develop an USV by 2026.

Named after the Latin word for darkness, Tenebris is designed for reconnaissance missions in enemy proximities. The vessel, a 17-meter length craft with a light displacement of 14 tons, is equipped with a high-performance hull and advanced AI technologies.

Research work is also underway to enhance the USV's seakeeping performance and range, ensuring robust deployment capabilities under varying communication and environmental conditions at sea. Its speed, load capacity, and stealth capabilities are also expected to be upgraded in phases.

HD Hyundai said it plans to integrate its autonomous navigation and vessel management systems with Palantir’s AI platform to develop a world-class mission autonomy system for vessels.

According to market tracker Allied Market Research, the global market for USVs was valued at $920 million in 2022. With an annual growth rate of 11.5 percent on average, the market is expected to surge to $2.7 billion by 2032.

“We will lead the burgeoning USV market in partnership with Palantir, one of the top players in the field of defense AI,” an HD Hyundai official said.

Over 150 entities, including Lockheed Martin, Google, and Microsoft, participated in the expo, hosted by the US-based Special Competitive Studies Project. Decision makers from major countries were also present, including representatives from the Five Eyes network -- an intelligence alliance compromising the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.