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Survey: What’s the Next Most Promising Naval Technology?

Several emerging technologies are poised to change the way navies operate in the future. Unmanned underwater vehicles hold the promise to help find adversarial submarines, additive manufacturing could replace hard to find parts for ships and aircraft stationed in remote locations and lasers and electromagnetic railguns could increase the volume of fires from U.S. ships while reducing the cost of missiles.

Developments aren’t just occurring in the U.S. – other navies are perfecting and developing new technologies like new supersonic missiles and improved diesel-electric submarines.

USNI News is asking its readers to predict what is the next technology that could change the way navies fight, man, train and equip their forces.

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Categories: Aviation, China, Foreign Forces, Russia, Submarine Forces, Surface Forces, Survey, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • Curtis Conway

    Configuration management & control is the enabling technology that must first exist to provide the data supporting all of these items.
    Autonomous underwater vehicles are important in the future of underwater warfare, just like autonomous boats are driving things on the water’s surface, and killer and ISR drones are in the air.
    The additive 3D printer technology will come in handy if we bring back Depot Maintenance for aircraft, and Tenders for ships and submarines.
    One of the most exciting in the near term in extended range artillery rounds, and Hyper Velocity Projectiles (HVP) for all tubes in the US Military including naval guns. That application can use technology on platforms all the way from surface, air, and re-entering space vehicles.
    Technology that already exists that can help in the short term would be Hybrid Electric Drive HED) that enables commanders to stretch their fuel, while causing the enemy to burn their fuel, and 4160v integrated electrical systems on all new build platforms, and retrofitted to the extent possible to facilitate power to Directed Energy Weapons for computer controlled point defense. . . are well within the realm of reality.
    Don’t forget controlling the Electromagnetic Spectrum to insure our weapons work, and theirs do not.

    • old guy

      VERY well stated., but the last point needs to be expanded to include magnum changes in signal protection such as double modem D to A and A to D timed sequence coded entry. If properly applied (I did it once in ONR) communications are virtually 100% safe from hacking.

  • John Locke

    I think the article could be titled differently. There are several budding technologies out there that could provide the Navy with gee wiz capabilities but unless they are shepherded by SME’s instead of PM’s then the technology usually becomes not too promising at all to enable the associated capability. Now as for a technology that has potential to enable a change in ops I would say increasing the size of focal plane arrays used in electro-optics would be one.