Interesting piece from Sam LaGrone at USNI News Navy Wants 100 Unmanned Ships Monitoring Middle East Waters by Next Year
The United States and its allies want a force of 100 unmanned surface vessels patrolling waters from the Red Sea into the Persian Gulf by next summer, the commander of U.S. 5th Fleet said on Tuesday.
“We’ve established a goal to have 100 unmanned surface vessels available for patrol in waters around the Arabian Peninsula by the end of the summer of 2023… with a majority of the systems coming from our international and regional partners,” U.S. 5th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Brad Cooper said during an address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
For the last year, U.S. Central Command has been the test bed for an experimental force of long-endurance unmanned systems at sea married with artificial intelligence tools on shore to look for military threats or illegal activity. Unlike some of the high-end drones used by the U.S. military, the information and sensors for each individual system are unclassified, with their output beamed back to a maritime operations center for a human to make a decision when the AI system detects something out of the ordinary. The effort is known as Task Force 59.
We're talking sensor here, not armed units. But these sensors ease the burden on manned units by being out there 24/7 and constantly reporting back to base, at which decision about any action required can be made. The more units out there, the harder for "bad guys" to hide what they're up to.