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US Navy Forms Task Force to Test Maritime Manned-Unmanned Teaming

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US Navy Forms Task Force to Test Maritime Manned-Unmanned Teaming

The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet has formed a new task force focused on integrating artificial intelligence with new unmanned systems, the top officer of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said. Christened Task Force 59, the new unit will pull technical experts along with outside advisers from offices like the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center to test new AI and unmanned tech, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, NAVCENT’s commander said.

Task Force 59 will focus on testing new tech and integrating systems and is intended to play a key role in the International Maritime Exercise scheduled for early 2022. Cooper said the task force was conceived to allow the Navy to go on the offensive using unmanned systems. Its strategy focuses on enabling maritime operations with manned and unmanned systems working alongside each other.

The service has already established several offices to work on unmanned vessels, yielding successful tests. However, proposals to advance the manned-unmanned or “hybrid” warfighting concept, received mixed reactions in Congress, which ultimately will need to fund the unmanned platforms the Navy plans to request, FedScoop reported Wednesday.

In March, the Navy launched its comprehensive plan on manned-unmanned systems. The plan envisions maritime operations with manned and unmanned systems working alongside each other. Task Force 59 seeks to realize that vision by looking into manned-unmanned integration’s biggest challenge — convincing operators to trust their machines.

Cooper said the U.S. Central Command is the ideal setting to establish the manned-unmanned development task force, calling his jurisdiction “very maritime centric.” He said that because of the rough seas, presence of hostile adversaries and unpredictable weather, “if you can operate here you can probably operate in other areas.”

IMX is a military exercise that has regularly taken place since 2012, which the NAVCENT conducts alongside other nations.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: aerial systems artificial intelligence Brad Cooper Defense and Intelligence FedScoop Navy Task Force 59 unmanned systems US Central Command US Naval Forces Central Command