Attack boat Vermont (SSN-792) float-off on March 29, 2019. General Dynamics Electric Boats Photo
This post is part of a series of stories looking back at the top naval news from 2020.
2020 may be among the most consequential years for Navy acquisition in recent memory, with the service making big moves in support of its Distributed Maritime Operations operating concept. Read More
Sea Hunter, an entirely new class of unmanned sea surface vehicle developed in partnership between the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), completed an autonomous sail from San Diego to Hawaii and back—the first ship ever to do so autonomously. US Navy photo.
As the Pentagon prepares for a fight in the vastness of the Indo-Pacific, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a concept it hopes will allow unmanned surface vehicles to travel up to 14,000 nautical miles. Read More
With the Pentagon pitching a future naval force design that calls for as many as 240 unmanned and optionally manned ships on the surface and under the sea, a natural question is: what will they all do? Read More
Chinese Navy USV
A candid photograph posted on Chinese social media sheds light on a Chinese project to develop an unmanned ship similar to the U.S. Navy’s Sea Hunter. The trimaran is remarkably similar to the Sea Hunter in almost every respect. Read More
Textron’s Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle. Textron photo.
Early next year, U.S. Pacific Fleet will assemble the unmanned systems the Navy has deployed to the Indo-Pacific for an exercise to serve as an early marker on integrating unmanned platforms into the Navy. Read More
L3Harris Technologies Delivers New Advanced Autonomous Vehicle Capability to UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. The Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST) 13 is a 13-meter (41-foot) long high-speed system capable of fully autonomous navigation. L3Harris photo.
This post has been updated to correct the spelling of the upcoming Navy sensor program, named SPEIR.
A year after L3 and Harris merged into a single $18-billion defense company, the corporation is finding its formerly siloed components can come together to meet some of the Navy’s and joint force’s most complex needs. Read More
Artist’s conception of the Boeing and HII Orca XLUUV. Boeing Image
As the Navy continues its pursuit of unmanned vehicles, Huntington Ingalls Industries hopes to harness its experience building the service’s largest platforms to expand naval capability in the unmanned realm. Read More
A Knifefish unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) training model undergoes crane operations aboard the Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1) as part of a training exercise enabling mine countermeasure missions (MCM) from an EPF as a Vessel of Opportunity (VOO). Knifefish is a medium-class mine countermeasure UUV designed for deployment off the littoral combat ship in 2019. US Navy Photo
The Navy is kicking off a pilot program for an autonomy lab that would eventually help test and integrate new advances in autonomy software with existing unmanned vessels, keeping the unmanned fleet outfitted with the newest capabilities for the lowest development cost. Read More
An artist’s concept illustrating a Sea Machine commerical autonomous navigation system. Sea Machine Image
Huntington Ingalls Industries has invested in a second unmanned maritime systems company, announcing today that it completed an equity investment in Sea Machines Robotics, Inc. Read More
A Ghost Fleet Overlord test vessel takes part in a capstone demonstration during the conclusion of Phase I of the program in September. Two existing commercial fast supply vessels were converted into unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for Overlord testing, which will play a vital role in informing the Navy’s new classes of USVs. US Navy photo.
The Navy’s transition from prototype to program of record for its portfolio of unmanned surface and undersea systems is being aided by industry, international partners and developmental squadrons, even as the program office seeks to ease concerns that the transition is happening too fast, the program executive officer for unmanned and small combatants said today. Read More