The US military have launched their first experimental, fully autonomous self-driving warship, dubbed Sea Hunter, and representing a major advance in robotic warfare, which is increasingly forming the core of America's strategy to counter the Chinese and Russians, it's designed to hunt enemy submarines. The 132ft unarmed ASW Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) prototype is the naval equivalent of Google's self-driving car. Designed to cruise on the ocean's surface for two or three months at a time and with a range of over 10,000 miles it has neither a crew nor anyone controlling it remotely. And that kind of endurance and autonomy could make it a highly efficient submarine stalker at a fraction of the cost of the Navy's manned vessels. "This is an inflection point," Deputy US Defense Secretary Robert Work said in an interview, adding he hoped such ships might find a place in the western Pacific in as little as five years.
PORTLAND, OREGON – The U.S. military on Thursday christened an experimental self-driving warship designed to hunt for enemy submarines, a major advance in robotic warfare at the core of America's strategy to counter Chinese and Russian naval investments. The 132-foot-long (40-meter-long) unarmed prototype, dubbed Sea Hunter, is the naval equivalent of Google's self-driving car, designed to cruise on the ocean's surface for two or three months at a time -- without a crew or anyone controlling it remotely. That kind of endurance and autonomy could make it a highly efficient submarine stalker at a fraction of the cost of the Navy's manned vessels. "This is an inflection point," Deputy U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Work said in an interview, adding he hoped such ships might find a place in the Western Pacific in as few as five years. "This is the first time we've ever had a totally robotic, trans-oceanic-capable ship."
The US has officially christened its experimental self-driving warship designed to hunt for enemy submarines for months at a time. The 132ft-long (40-metre) unarmed prototype, dubbed Sea Hunter, is the naval equivalent of Google's self-driving car, designed to cruise on the ocean's surface without a crew. The ship's projected 20 million ( 14.2 million) price tag and its 15,000 ( 10,650) to 20,000 ( 14,300) daily operating cost make it relatively inexpensive for the navy. The ship's projected 20 million ( 14.2 million) price tag and its 20,000 ( 14,300) daily operating cost make it relatively inexpensive for the navy The vessel was unveiled by Deputy US Defense Secretary Robert Work and has been developed by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa). The ship is about to undergo two years of testing, including to verify that it can safely follow international norms for operating at sea.
File photo - An unmanned 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat from Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock operates autonomously during an Office of Naval Research-sponsored demonstration of swarmboat technology on the James River in Newport News, Va.(U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released) The U.S. Navy will launch a swarm of interconnected small attack drone boats on mock-combat missions to refine command and control technology and prepare its "Ghost Fleet" of autonomous, yet networked surface craft for war. Developed by the Office of Naval Research and Naval Sea Systems Command, "Ghost Fleet" represents a Navy strategy to surveil, counter, overwhelm and attack enemies in a coordinated fashion - all while keeping sailors on host ships at safer distances. The small boats, many of them called Unmanned Surface Vessels, are designed to conduct ISR missions, find and destroy mines and launch a range of attacks including electronic warfare and even mounted guns. The concept is to use advanced computer algorithms bringing new levels of autonomy to surface warfare, enabling ships to coordinate information exchange, operate in tandem without colliding and launch combined assaults. "Ghost Fleet is really helping us in the Command and Control and coms arena. The demonstration will allow us to learn lessons about integrated payloads with USVs," Capt.
WASHINGTON – Maritime operations, missile tests, landing exercises: the Pentagon has been sharply stepping up its efforts to counter China's growing military power, seen increasingly as a threat. On Friday an American warship approached the Paracel Islands, an island chain claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, to affirm international "freedom of navigation" in the region. The USS Wayne E. Meyer, a guided-missile destroyer, passed near the islands to contest Beijing's sweeping claims to the seas around the archipelago, which is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. The Chinese claim would block "innocent passage" by other countries' ships and is "not permitted by international law," a U.S. 7th Fleet spokeswoman, Cmdr. Friday's was the sixth "freedom of navigation operation" -- or FONOPS in naval jargon -- this year, a clear acceleration in pace.