Caterpillar, Serco Collaborate to Advance Autonomous Vessel Capable of One-Year Runtime Without Human Intervention

Caterpillar Marine Engine Uniquely Satisfies 24/7/365 Requirements

March 2024

Houston, Texas – Caterpillar Marine announced today the successful completion of key milestones with Serco Inc., a provider of professional, technology, engineering, and management services, to advance the use of autonomous vessels for naval applications. The initiative supports the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s No Manning Required Ship (NOMARS) project.

Autonomous unmanned vessels represent an opportunity to protect crews from the inhospitable, dangerous environment encountered at sea. This technological advancement not only promotes safety but also cost savings, as eliminating crew quarters and onboard living requirements reduces shipbuilding costs. Cat® marine-certified engines hold the distinction of meeting the rigorous reliability, durability, performance monitoring and speed requirements to operate at sea at 90% availability for one year without manned intervention. 

“We’re excited to be part of one of the most important technological disruptions in the maritime industry,” commented Randy Tymofichuck, vice president and general manager of Caterpillar Defense at Caterpillar Inc. “Beyond naval applications, autonomous ship designs can positively impact cargo transportation and energy sectors as well to help strengthen the supply chains for each.”

“Captains and maintenance crews are essential for any maritime application, and we can enable them to do their jobs more safely by employing autonomous vessels,” added Ryan Maatta, chief marine engineer and marine engineering manager at Serco. “Over the years, we’ve experienced the reliability, dependability and performance of Cat engines in our ship designs and Caterpillar’s technology brings all those factors to bear in this project plus impressive technical support.” 

The autonomous technology successes of Caterpillar expand beyond the maritime industry to include onshore mining, sonar and space applications. 

Learn more at Caterpillar Marine Governmental

Normand Jarl - Solstad Shipping - Vessel in water


About Caterpillar Marine:

Caterpillar Marine, with headquarters in Houston, Texas, offers premium power solutions for a wide range of marine applications. With decades of experience designing engines and aftertreatment solutions, Caterpillar Marine products set the standard for quality, performance, and reliability. Caterpillar is dedicated to being your service provider on the water to provide engine and operational success. With Customer Value Agreements (CVAs), customers can take advantage of an extensive array of service options that can be tailored to their specific needs. Combined with our digital solutions, a CVA can provide valuable insights to engine health and performance. The global sales and service network is ready to support customers in tug, offshore, inland waterways, fishing, governmental, dredge, ferry, and yachting wherever they are.

More information is available at:

About Caterpillar

With 2023 sales and revenues of $67.1 billion, Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been helping customers build a better, more sustainable world and are committed and contributing to a reduced-carbon future. Our innovative products and services, backed by our global dealer network, provide exceptional value that helps customers succeed. Caterpillar does business on every continent, principally operating through three primary segments – Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation – and providing financing and related services through our Financial Products segment. Visit us at or join the conversation on our social media channels at

© 2024 Caterpillar. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, LET’S DO THE WORK, their respective logos, "Caterpillar Corporate Yellow", the "Power Edge" and Cat “Modern Hex” trade dress as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.


Trade Press Inquiries

Danielle Foelber