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
Textron Systems Unmanned Systems not only built flexibility into its Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) hull design but also into its acquisition program, enabling the company to potentially sell some craft to the Navy for the newly assigned mine hunting mission before signing off on a contract for the original mine sweeping mission, a company official said. Read More
The Littoral Combat Ship program will reach several major milestones in the coming months, from conducting full ship shock trials on both hull variants, to demonstrating a new expeditionary mine mission package, to refining operational concepts, the outgoing program executive officer told USNI News in a May 2 interview. Read More
Though the Littoral Combat Ship’s mine countermeasures mission package originally laid out a four-increment fielding plan that made use of three unmanned vehicles, a shakeup in those vehicles’ roles may lead to a single operational test by 2020 that would clear all four increments for use, the Program Executive Officer for LCS told USNI News. Read More