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unmanned underwater vehicle

Drones, Ro-Boats, & F-35 On Wheels: Marines Seek Tech For Major War

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


SAN DIEGO: Before the first human Marine hits the beach in the next war, long-range MUX drones will launch from ships to scout for threats. Next comes a wave of robotic small craft, Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) converted to carry sensors, jammers, missile launchers, even racks of mini-drones they can dump into the water to… Keep reading →

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Clock Ticks As Argentine Submariners Run Out Of Air; US, Allies Race To Rescue

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


In an extraordinary international response, a dozen nations have poured assets into the stormy South Atlantic to help find and save 44 Argentine submariners from the missing sub San Juan. It’s a stark contrast to the last great submarine disaster, when Russia was slow to accept international help for the stricken Kursk in 2000 and lost all… Keep reading →

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Worries Surface On New Navy Mine Warfare Plan

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ANNAPOLIS: The Navy’s new plan to put mine-hunting gear on a wider range of warships could finally break mine warfare out of its ghetto — or it could keep mine-hunting the same redheaded stepchild but spread it across more decks. The Navy has experimented with integrating Mine Counter-Measures (MCM) onto ships that weren’t minesweepers before,… Keep reading →

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Every Ship A Minesweeper? Navy Looks Beyond LCS

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


ANNAPOLIS: There are maybe half a million sea mines in arsenals around the world. To find and clear them, rather than rely solely on a small fleet of small Littoral Combat Ships, the Navy now wants at least some mine-hunting gear on a vessels ranging from modified oil tankers to catamarans to aircraft carriers. The… Keep reading →

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Marines Need Speed From Ship To Shore

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


  ANNAPOLIS: Small, fast missile boats clear a path through coastal waters for Marine landing forces. Robot jet skis, surfboards, and mini-subs scout out landing sites ahead of the human force. High-speed landing craft carry troops, their gear, and vehicles to the beach. Those are some of the ideas the Marines are experimenting with as… Keep reading →

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Underwater Bloodhounds: DARPA’s Robot Subs

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Run silent, run deep — and now, run in packs? Submarines are traditionally lone wolves, but the rise of robotics is starting to change that. Just yesterday, defense contractor BAE announced a $4.6 million award from DARPA to build an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) to accompany manned submarines, helping them spot targets by sending out… Keep reading →

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SecNav Nominee Spencer Soft-Pedals Trump’s 355-Ship Navy, Touts Robots

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: Amidst a bipartisan lovefest of a confirmation hearing, Navy Secretary nominee Richard  Spencer quietly and consistently downplayed the idea of a 355-ship fleet. The Navy now has 276 ships from supercarriers to minesweepers, President Trump promised 350 on the campaign trail, and the Chief of Naval Operations has officially assessed that he needs 355.… Keep reading →

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No 350-Ship Navy From This Trump Budget

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: All hands, brace for disappointment. The president’s promised naval buildup won’t begin in the 2018 budget out next week — or maybe ever. Sure, before the election, candidate Donald Trump promised a 350-ship Navy. Sure, just this morning, House Speaker Paul Ryan repeated the 350 figure. Sure, this week the Chief of Naval Operations… Keep reading →

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Marines Test Killer Hovercraft, Wooden Glider & 3D Printers For The Battlefield

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


QUANTICO: A hovercraft that shoots salvoes of rockets. A speedboat that turns into a submarine. A mobile 3D printing factory. A big wooden box with wings (yes, really). And, of course, more drones than you can shake a stick at (because they swarm). These are just a few of the roughly 100 technologies the Marine… Keep reading →

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Alternative Navy Study Bets Big On Robot PT Boats & LCS

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: Light carriers. Robot PT boats. Unmanned subs. A congressionally chartered study, the Alternative Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study, “does not represent any official Navy position,”  but offers a surprisingly bold vision for the future of the US Navy. The study, by a “Navy Project Team” of officers, civil servants, and contractors free to brainstorm without… Keep reading →

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