Navy Sees More Unmanned Craft Above and Below Water Level

May 4, 2012 - via Signal Magazine

The U.S. Navy will be using unmanned vehicles both in the air and underwater to a greater extent, according to Rear Adm. William Leigher, director of warfare integration for information dominance (N-2/N-6F). These vehicles will provide valuable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data and perform dangerous tasks such as mine clearance.

Speaking at AFCEA NOVA Naval IT Day on May 3, the admiral outlined a set of guiding principles that will help define naval ISR. In this architecture, every platform is a sensor and every sensor is networked. Data is discoverable and accessible by all; and systems feature common interfaces, data formats and standards.

Some sensors will be remoted and automated; and their payloads will be modular, plug-and-play and scalable. These sensors increasingly will be sea-based and unmanned. The greater use of unmanned systems will require common unmanned system control stations.

Unmanned underwater vehicles will increase in number and function, and the Navy must take a family approach to building these vehicles, Adm. Leigher said. Researchers already are making great progress toward increasing vehicle endurance, he added.

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Author:Robert K. Ackerman