The U.S. Navy’s autonomous surface vessel fleet is now being prepared.
(Photo : Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles Oki/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
In this handout from the U.S. Navy, a U.S. Marine Corps C-130 Hercules aircraft leads a formation of F/A-18C Hornet strike fighters and A/V-8B Harrier jets over the aircraft carrier USS George Washington July 27, 2010 off the coast of South Korea.
As part of its preparation, the defense department launched its three-week unmanned and AI integration event called “Digital Horizon.”
Once the new autonomous surface vessel/unmanned surface vessel (USV) fleet is ready for deployment, it will be considered the world’s first USV fleet.
US Navy’s First Autonomous Surface Vessel Fleet to Arrive
According to Maritime Executive’s latest report, the U.S. Navy’s Digital Horizon 2022 event will test 15 different types of unmanned systems, including USVs.
(Photo : Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)
A Man-Portable Tactical Autonomous Systems (MANTAS) T-12 unmanned surface vessel (USV) sails alongside Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) Abdulrahman Al Fadhel in the Gulf waters during a joint naval exercise between US 5th Fleet Command and Bahraini forces, on October 26, 2021.
Unmanned surface vessels are already being used in various industries. But there’s no USV fleet yet used for defense.
NOAA explained that USVs are water vessels that can operate by themselves. They are commonly deployed by other ships.
After that, they can either explore the water surface alone or with other ships/USVs.
These autonomous surface vessels are usually used to collect data, support subsea counterparts, and provide real-time communications.
In the case of the U.S. Navy’s upcoming unmanned surface vessel fleet, the USVs are expected to enhance regional maritime security and strengthen the area’s deterrence.
“I am excited about the direction we are headed,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command commander.
US Navy’s Digital Horizon Event
The U.S. Navy’s Digital Horizon 2022 event already began on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Since it is a three-week naval exercise, it is expected to end around Dec. 7.
The Digital Horizon event will test various unmanned surface vehicles, such as the following:
A versatile USV that can conduct remote-controlled and supervised autonomous operations.
L3Harris Arabian Fox MAST-13
This high-speed autonomous surface vessel is designed to patrol missions. It can be deployed and recovered by other naval ships.
Open Ocean Robotics Data Xplorer
A solar-powered USV that can explore the sea for months. It is designed to collect ocean environmental data.
These are just some of the USV models that the U.S. Navy is testing. You can click this link to see more vessels.
While the U.S. Navy is busy with its upcoming USV fleet, which is expected to arrive as early as 2023, other countries are also enhancing their defense techs.
Previously, China’s H-20 stealth bomber aircraft was unveiled.
The Royal Navy also participated in the largest military drills in the Pacific.
For more news updates about USVs and other defense innovations, always keep your tabs open here at TechTimes.
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Written by Griffin Davis