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Nichols Brothers Wins Contract to Build NOMARS Uncrewed Vessel

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 27, 2023

Concept design for NOMARS Defiant unmanned ship (Image: DARPA)

Concept design for NOMARS Defiant unmanned ship (Image: DARPA)

Freeland, Wash. shipbuilder Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) announced it has been awarded a contract to construct an uncrewed autonomous vessel for the U.S. Department of Defense's research and development agency.

The No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS) project was awarded by Serco North America, the prime contractor and designer of the vessel, for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The program aims to revolutionize naval operations by designing a ship that can operate autonomously for extended periods at sea without an onboard crew.

“NOMARS plans to demonstrate a next-generation completely unmanned ship that will enable entirely new concepts of operations,” said Gregory Avicola, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. “We will enable methods of deploying and maintaining very large fleets of unmanned surface vessels that can serve as partners, across the globe, for the larger crewed combatants of the U.S. Navy.”

Gavin Higgins, CEO of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, said, "The NOMARS program envisions a future where maritime operations can benefit from enhanced efficiency and performance through autonomous technology. This initiative aligns with our dedication to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in boat building. Our talented team of engineers, designers, and technicians is eager to demonstrate our expertise in developing cutting-edge vessels.”

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