Tags: navy | large | independent | underwater | drones

Navy Eyeing Large, Independent Underwater Drones

Image: Navy Eyeing Large, Independent Underwater Drones
(John F. Williams/Navy)

By    |   Thursday, 30 Mar 2017 12:39 PM

The Navy is seeking to beef up its underwater drone fleet with a massive vessel that can travel for up to 60 days over 1,000 miles.

Frank Herr, who leads ocean battle sensing at the Office of Naval Research, told C4ISRNET.com the service needs to improve on its main underwater drone that measures eight feet long and is 12.5 inches in diameter.

"We would like to build a vehicle that could go 30 to 60 days in mission endurance, with power to go 1,000 miles," Herr said. "It will have the autonomy to be able to find its way to do a naval mission without reporting home constantly."

Military researchers tested one prototype last year that used fuel cells like those found in car engines. The Navy is also looking at ideas that would make the drones independent enough that they would be able to take certain actions without human input.

"One vehicle would have to know how to operate in the presence of another vehicle. It will need to watch itself doing business, knowing how to reroute data if there is a fault, for example," Herr said.

Last December, China seized an underwater U.S. Navy drone that was cruising in the South China Sea. The drone was eventually returned to U.S. officials after a few days of talks between the two nations.

It was also reported in December that Russia was testing a drone submarine with the capability to launch nuclear weapons. 

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The Navy is seeking to beef up its underwater drone fleet with a massive vessel that can travel for up to 60 days over 1,000 miles.
navy, large, independent, underwater, drones
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2017-39-30
Thursday, 30 Mar 2017 12:39 PM
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