Bluefin Robotics’ underwater autonomous vehicle had been deployed as part of an operation that found the wreck of sunken Japanese battleship, the Musashi.

Led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, a team of researchers used various methods to narrow the search area for the wreck and later sent the Bluefin 12 to track the vessel.

According to Bluefin Robotics, the underwater autonomous vehicle located the shipwreck in the Sibuyan Sea after three dives.

Researchers located the Japanese Navy battleship at a depth of approximately 3,280ft in Philippine waters on 2 March, the National Geographic Society said.

"We’re proud that our vehicle was able to assist so effectively in this important search for an historic naval vessel."

Bluefin Robotics interim CEO Rich Leonard said: "We’re proud that our vehicle was able to assist so effectively in this important search for an historic naval vessel and we look forward to supporting Mr Allen’s passion in future searches for undersea artifacts."

Musashi and its sister ship, the Yamato, are still remembered for their naval design and construction.

Commissioned in 1942, the Musashi featured 18in armour plating and was equipped with nine 18in guns. The vessel was active in several battles, including the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

In October 1994, the 73,000t Musashi was sunk by allied forces during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which is considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II.

Bluefin Robotics worked with the search team to design and build the AUV to their specifications, and supervised its operations. The mission was conducted using the MY Octopus motor yacht.

According to National Geographic, each AUV dive lasted 24 hours and covered a maximum of 150 square miles.