While not as ubiquitous as their aerial and ground counterparts, unmanned ships are slowly becoming a part of naval fleets across the world. The vessels are cost effective and significantly reduce the operational hazards sailors face in conflict zones.
The world’s unmanned maritime systems market is evolving rapidly under the combined impact of changing maritime threats, shrinking budgets, changing operational needs and significant technological advances.
The US Navy expects unmanned systems, and Unmanned Surface Vehicles in particular, will provide multiply available force while lowering risk to manned vessels and personnel. These factors could potentially enable a smaller Navy to address widening Navy requirements including anti-piracy missions.
• Reconnaissance & Surveillance
• Force Protection
• Law Enforcement / Smuggling
• Mine Detection
• Port, oil rigs and sea structures defense and security
• Search And Rescue
• Battle Damage Assessment
• Exclusive economic zone monitoring of illegal activity
• Pollution detection and treatment
Unmanned vehicles are an effective tool to increase intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) coverage, specially when launched from a host naval ship. A host of non-lethal and surveillance-only options are likely to be used until lethal weapons are an absolute necessity.
Due their smart operation, such vessels can be used to patrol an area on an almost-persistent basis, enabling it to provide a quick response and alert ships in advance of pirates boardings. Plus electronic data collected by USVs can assist naval intervention units at sea – and be later used for litigation.