Sub Trail

Sub Trail

Monday, August 13, 2018

U. S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report 9 July - 8 August 2018 and HORN OF AFRICA/GULF OF GUINEA/ SOUTHEAST ASIA: Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly (PAWW) Report for 2 – 8 August 2018




The Future is at Hand: ACTUV and the Navy to Come







Future plans:
DARPA has successfully completed its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program and has officially transferred the technology demonstration vessel, christened Sea Hunter, to the Office of Naval Research (ONR). ONR will continue developing the revolutionary prototype vehicle—the first of what could ultimately become an entirely new class of ocean-going vessel able to traverse thousands of kilometers over open seas for months at a time, without a single crew member aboard—as the Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV).
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“ACTUV represents a new vision of naval surface warfare that trades small numbers of very capable, high-value assets for large numbers of commoditized, simpler platforms that are more capable in the aggregate,” said Fred Kennedy, TTO director. “The U.S. military has talked about the strategic importance of replacing ‘king’ and ‘queen’ pieces on the maritime chessboard with lots of ‘pawns,’ and ACTUV is a first step toward doing exactly that.”
Or, as Robert Work put it:
We are going to remember this because how often can you be at the christening of a robot warship? Now, let me tell you, I'm going to talk a little bit about the Predator in just a few minutes, but in the United States Air Force, there are airplanes and drones. The Navy cannot make that mistake. There have to be warships. And it doesn't matter whether they are manned or unmanned. They will take the fight to the enemy. I'm on a ship that looks like a Klingon “Bird of Prey.”

It's – haze gray. If you look up front of the bridge, at the pilot house, you'll notice big bolts. You can take that pilot house off and this ship can operate autonomously. If the Navy falls in the trap of thinking of these vessels as somehow different than the other haze gray warships that send shivers down the spine of our enemies, wherever they may be in the world, they're going to make a damn big mistake.

Now, I've been waiting for this day for a long time. A long time. We are in a period of incredible technological flux. Advances in autonomy and artificial intelligence and autonomous control systems and advanced computing and big data and learning machines and intuitive rapid visualization tools, meta-materials, miniaturization. They are leading us to a period of a time of great human-machine collaboration.

This will be a change just like other momentous changes in our society. You see this human-machine collaboration in our business and manufacturing now. You see it in our daily lives and you're going to see it increasingly in warfare. So I believe, without a doubt, you're going to look back on this day just like people like you were sitting on the stage when the USS Nautilus was christened, the first nuclear powered submarine, or when the USS Enterprise was commissioned, the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier or when the DDG 1000 was commissioned, our first stealth battleship. And you are going to look back on this and say, "I was part of history."
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And it is designed to be very efficient. This ship you see before you costs a little bit more than $2 million to build. It was designed for an operating cost of $15,000 to $20,000 per day, per day. To give you a sense, a DDG [guided missile destroyer], that's $700k per day. We're talking $15,000 to $20,000 for this vessel to operate for 24 hours. An unmanned helicopter operating for 24 hours would cost $300k.

So just like what happened with Predator, I am absolutely salivating to see what is going to happen when this baby gets down to the [Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet] after O&R has checked it all out, made sure it's safe, and see what our creative warfighters of the U.S. Navy can do with it.

You can imagine anti-submarine warfare pickets, you can imagine anti-submarine warfare wolfpacks, you can imagine mine warfare flotillas, you can imagine distributive anti-surface warfare surface action groups, you can imagine this carrying deception vans, electronic warfare vans. You can actually envision, just do the math, these -- we can build these for $20 million, five for $100 million, 25 for half a billion, 50 for a billion.

This area right here looks pretty good. We might be able to put a six pack or a four pack of missiles on them. Now imagine 50 of these distributed and operating together under the hands of a flotilla commander, and this is really something.
Want low cost, potent warships that require no manning, thus saving all that wasted space on the human needs for food, water, berthing? Get on it!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

On Midrats 12 August 2018 - Episode 449: Ethics, Professionalism, Education & the Military Professional

Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on 12 August 2018 for Midrats Episode 449: Ethics, Professionalism, Education & the Military Professional
A military is not an amorphous mass, but a collection of individuals each who can make decisions in their professional role that can have great impact, both positive and negative, well beyond their immediate and personal concerns.

Decisions, policies, and behavior derive from the training, traditions, and fundamental culture of the people who make them. What is the role of ethics, training and other culture forming activities in defining the military professional and how he executes his responsibilities?

Our guests this week to dive in to these and related issues will be Nathan Finney and Tyrell Mayfield. As a base for our discussions, we will touch on subject areas they raised in the upcoming book they are co-editors of “Redefining the Modern Military: The Intersection of Profession and Ethics” published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press.

Nathan Finney is an officer in the U.S. Army, a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations; a Non-Resident Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute; and a former Non-Resident Fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point and has helped found multiple organizations, including The Strategy Bridge; the Military Writers Guild; and the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum.

Tyrell O. Mayfield is an officer in the US Air Force and a co-founder and board member of the non-profit The Strategy Bridge. Ty has published photography and written work in a number of online forums, magazines, newspapers, and peer-reviewed journals. Ty is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School and the US Army War College and holds masters degrees in International Relations, National Security Studies and Strategic Art. Ty is currently writing a memoir about his time in Kabul.
Join us live if you can or pick the show up later by clicking here. Or you can also pick the show up later by visiting either our iTunes page or our Stitcher page.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Oceans of Drones

Interesting piece from the Economist on expanding ocean surveillance in a variety of causes, including military Avast, me hearties: How aquatic, autonomous robots could reduce lawlessness at sea
As the cost of building and operating such vehicles drops, satellite communications systems provide cheaper and faster connectivity, and machine intelligence improves, drones could provide a powerful means of policing illegal activities that take place, unseen, at sea. Powered by wave action, wind power or solar panels, drones could operate for months or even years at a time, scanning large areas in swarms, monitoring environmental conditions and alerting human overseers when something looks amiss. If drones ruled the waves, fisheries would be more sustainable, pollution would be reduced and human trafficking would be harder to get away with. Even if drones can monitor only a small fraction of the ocean’s surface, their presence could be a powerful deterrent.
We touched on the use of AI and drone assets in our last Midrats - especially in the building of databases through which anomalous behavior can be detected and tracked, about 48 minutes in, though the discussion that preceded got to that point.









Hat tip to Lee.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: Dimension X "Requiem" (1951)

A Heinlein tale.  Funny how our interest in the moon has - uh- waxed and waned.



On Midrats 5 August 2018 - Episode 448: AI, Machine Learning and Their Future Role in Military Operations

Please join us on 5 August 2018 at 5 pm EDT for Midrats Episode 448: AI, Machine Learning and Their Future Role in Military Operations
The future has been with us for quite awhile now, but the intersection of advance manufacturing, Moore's Law, and data storage are bringing
to the front capabilities that for decades were found only in science fiction.

Autonomous and varying degrees of human-robot teaming, artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning are not just growing parts of the modern economy, with each passing year they become more and more integrated with military operations.

What future capabilities can we expect and how will we work through the ethical and legal complications that will come with them?

Our guest to discuss these and related topics will be Ali Crawford.

Ali Crawford Ali has an M.A. from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce where she focused on diplomacy, intelligence, cyber policy, and cyber warfare. She tweets at @ali_craw.
Join us live if you can or pick the show up later by clicking here. Or you can also pick the show up later by visiting either our iTunes page or our Stitcher page.