NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The Navy has tightly coupled early prototyping efforts and future acquisition efforts for medium and large unmanned surface vehicles, to speed up the time it will take to experiment with the vessels and get them fielded to fleet commanders, the program manager said last week. Read More
THE PENTAGON – The Navy has more questions than answers on how it will use unmanned warships in the future, but it knows now is the time to get unmanned surface vehicles into the water and start learning, the Navy’s top requirements officer told USNI News. Read More
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, ABOARD RFA MOUNTS BAY – The Navy’s mine countermeasures community brought all three legs of its triad together for a single experiment – aboard an allied ship – to see how well they could combine their gear and people to tackle a common threat. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Navy’s Future Surface Combatant will likely include both an unmanned and an optionally unmanned surface vessel as part of a growing family of systems, as the Navy works through how manned/unmanned teaming can provide the biggest benefits at various phases of warfare. Read More
The Navy is working on adding a number of anti-surface weapons to an unmanned surface vehicle that so far has been used as a passive platform for mine countermeasures. Read More
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2017.
The following is part of a series. Please also see Top Stories: International Acquisition, Navy Operations, Marine Corps Operations, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Acquisition, International Operations and New Administration.
2017 began with the promise of planning for a larger fleet: at the end of 2016, the Navy announced a 355-ship requirement, and the incoming Trump Administration expressed its support for a larger military and a heftier Navy. Few concrete steps were taken this year, though, to begin a buildup – though many programs that will be pivotal to the 355-ship fleet of the future reached significant programmatic milestones in 2017.
WASHINGTON NAVY YARD – The unmanned systems portfolio within the Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ship is maturing as the Navy’s future plans are increasingly emphasizing these vehicles, putting the PEO in an important position to shape how the service incorporates these emerging technologies into future operations, PEO LCS Rear Adm. John Neagley told USNI News. Read More
Changes in the Navy’s unmanned mine hunting plans may help Textron Systems maintain a hot production line for its Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) ahead of next year’s expected move into low-rate initial production for the unmanned craft in its original mine sweeping role. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. — If the Navy wants to pursue the key tenets of three recently completed Future Fleet Architecture studies – a distributed and networked fleet that relies on unmanned vehicles and electromagnetic warfare tools to survive and win in a highly contested environment – it will need to quickly invest in technologies that allow U.S. forces to complete a targeting faster and stop the enemy from doing so at all, lead participants from the three studies told lawmakers. Read More
The Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships hopes to take the helm of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program and test it not only as a remote vehicle that conducts missions in tandem with the LCS but also as a host platform to launch other unmanned vehicles far from the manned ships controlling them, the PEO’s executive director told USNI News. Read More