During the Royal Australian Navy’s Autonomous Warrior exercise, the USVDIV-1 of the US Navy recently demonstrated its autonomous technology. The USS Oakland and four unmanned surface vessels (USVs) participated in the drill.
The goal of the exercise, dubbed Integrated Battle Problem 23.2, according to USVDIV-1 Commander Jeremiah Daley, was to incorporate USVs into vessel operations.
During the exercise, both crewed and uncrewed surface vessels worked together to coordinate maritime awareness. The Australian Navy remotely observed the USVs’ operational status.
Cmdr. Daley emphasised that despite specific challenges, the exercise was successful and that the knowledge gained will benefit upcoming opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region.
After almost eighteen months of operation, USVDIV-1 has shown that USVs can be used for more intricate tasks like swarming.
However, maintenance and sustainability issues and conceptual and logistical difficulties must be resolved for widespread deployment.
Another development was the successful execution of Exercise Digital Talon by Task Force 59 of the US Navy, which tested the capabilities of unmanned surface vessels in smaller combat scenarios.
The potential to increase fleet lethality was demonstrated by firing a Switchblade 300 loitering munition by a MARTAC T38 Devil Ray USV.
The Navy is making great strides toward its objective of deploying a sizable fleet of uncrewed vessels in the upcoming decades with its ongoing efforts to incorporate USVs into its operations, including live-fire exercises.
By 2045, the number of combat ships will have doubled, with many uncrewed ships to supplement manned ones, as per the Chief of Naval Operations Navigation Plan 2022.
It is believed that smaller USVs, such as those taking part in Exercise Digital Talon, are essential for shielding larger ships from possible dangers.
These innovations show how committed the Navy is to developing artificial intelligence and autonomous technology for the maritime environment.
References- Popsci, National Defense
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