Significant investment was required in unmanned ships due to the US Navy's fight to persuade law-makers.
The Fleet began the campaign this year, announcing funding of $ 2.7 billion to develop and implement unmanned platforms over the next five years, purchasing two unmanned surface vessels. the years.
Congress approved the purchase of two large unmanned surface vessels, or LUSVs, but prevented the service from integrating a vertical launch system, where the Navy expects many of the technical difficulties associated with their concept.
But now that the program is going on, what exactly does the Navy buy and what are the next steps?
Here are some answers to some of the questions you may have about the Navy's popularity with large robot firing boats.
The commander of the sheer surface fleet guides the US Navy to develop concepts for unmanned ships
1. What exactly does the Navy buy in 2020? The Navy, headed by Capt. Pete Small from the Program Executive Office, Unemployed and Small Partners, is planning to purchase two commercial supply vessels, which use the oil and gas industry to support offshore infrastructure. These boats will be placed with two similar vessels provided by the Defense Secretary's Strategic Capability Office for its Fleet Ghost Overlord program.
Fleet Overlord changed FSV's two unmanned surface vessels and showed “autonomy system integration”; show shipping independence; and the upgrading of reliability of hull, mechanical and electrical systems, ”according to a press release in October from the Women's office.
The first phase of Overlord came up this year and the boats showed that they could follow the rules of the road for navigation themselves.
2. Why is the Navy trying to do these things? The Navy provides the final product as an external missile magazine which can autonomously navigate the fleet, throw missiles and return their route to reloading.
In the last conference, Fall, the top-needs official, made the Adm James James Kilby, described as:
“We want to create an unmanned magazine,” said Kilby, who commands the office's needs and competencies of the Naval Operations.
“And if you think of the perspective and use it in conjunction with another force feature where I can integrate fires, use the fire control from that aspect to the unmanned vehicle and use that magazine, send it on. back to reload, go back using wait my magazine, stay with the unmanned magazine – I can keep the fight longer. ”
Essentially, the Navy is looking for a cheaper route to increase the number of vertical dispatch tubes in the fleet without, as Head of Naval Operations, putting it last year, wearing a $ 2 billion destroyer cable around 96 missile tubes.
3. How do they plan to go? The Naval plan is to build a prototype fleet to obtain many test hours in the experience of operating autonomous surface vessels.
Small, who is in charge of the Non-Employed Marine Systems Office within the Unemployed and Small Co-operatives of the Executive Office explains:
“Our FY20 plans focused on our major USVs on two areas,” said Small, during a June appearance at a conference of the Association of American Naval Engineers. “One area is: finding out more prototypes. Our technical risk is to integrate military capabilities. Therefore, we need the prototypes to begin to integrate these capabilities and burn down some of that risk.
“The other piece is showing reliability. We will have to do a lot of testing to demonstrate reliable autonomous behavior: We need 10 thousand hours of USV operations to demonstrate the reliability we need.
“We will not get one or two prototypes until the ten hours of operations in the timeframe that we think we need to employ. We therefore need more prototypes to reduce the technical risk associated with payload integration. ”
Meanwhile, the Commander of Fleet Force commanded Rich Brown, Vice-President of the Fleet, to deliver the concept of operations this year by the end of the year which will determine, in the first instance, what LUSV is. unmanned work and medium should be capable of being made by a surface vessel for the fleet.
Congress delays the rolling of the US towards a robot future
4. What are the issues? Enough. Firstly, no one knows the workable program or not, which will determine the prototype effort.
Program officials quickly indicate that independence is unlikely to be problematic.
“Much of the prototype we have done is doing a great job to develop that technology and is ready to support the kind of modular approach we are taking with these crafts,” Small said in June.
“You know, it took me some time in this job to go over the surprise that it will meet a person who tells me that they are the world's leading expert in autonomous technology ',' and they're being done for 20 years. And it's true: there is a lot of technology, we have to package it together and represent it. ”
This issue is a technical issue, whether exquisite communication rooms, vertical launch systems, combat systems and missile systems can be integrated into an unmanned ship and operated over the sky or even close to it. It is not what it would mean, and the Channel's confidence in Capitol Hill inspired little delays by the Navy and their ship-fighting missions modules and new technologies from aircraft carriers. Ford.
“In view of LUSV's indefinite concepts of operations, requirements, technical maturity – including many [first-class capabilities] – the contrast between a proven aircraft carrier and its unmanned aircraft and surface vessels is easy,” source informed Congressional authorities' thinking told Defense News in December.
The recent Defense appropriations bill funded by the two LUSVs banned the integration of the VLS Fleet into the first boats but said that it could revisit the issue in subsequent years, which arose out of concerns. Conference that the Navy was moving too fast.
To fund the proposed billions, the US Navy records its unmanned future
5. So what is the future program? The small members' office will continue to maintain, test with prototypes and develop requirements in conjunction with the Surface Development Squadron. SURFDEVRON was the outfit last year to help the surface force integrate the issues associated with new technologies such as the DDG-1000 and the large and unmanned surface vessels.
About the SCO Overlord Ghost Fleet program, it is now in phase two, which will focus on “the integration of government-ordered and control-command systems being delivered by government and involving a more complex and challenging fleet experiment. , ”According to October released.
As for the actual LUSV program, the Navy issued a request for information to the industry to find out what might be possible. In 2020, the service intends to issue a number of conceptual design contracts that will contribute to a proposal for a proposal. Then, in 2021, the service is looking to award detailed design and construction for the first LUSVs.