Future Trends

Navy Lays Out Plans for Unmanned Capabilities Enhancements

Unmanned vehicles

Navy Lays Out Plans for Unmanned Capabilities Enhancements

The head of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet made two key announcements for the service’s unmanned capabilities during the West 2024 Conference.

According to Adm. Samuel Paparo, the Navy plans to establish its second, uniformed squadron to oversee unmanned surface drone capabilities to allow the service to own and operate its drones in certain spaces as needed. The first surface drone unit, the Unmanned Surface Vessel Division 1, was established in 2022.

Paparo also announced plans to launch Integrated Battle Problem 24.1, which will focus on manned-unmanned teaming, in March. Previous iterations of the Navy’s Integrated Battle Problem exercises focused on months-long, long-distance drone operations and compatibility with the SM-6 missile, Defense News reported.

The announcements came after the Navy set up a new task group that focuses on unmanned capabilities and promotes maritime safety in the Middle East. Task Group 59.1, a part of Task Force 59, focuses on MUM-T deployments and unmanned technology integration and acquisition.

Paparo’s statements also came months after the Navy announced a plan to deploy an L3Harris Technologies-made unmanned undersea vehicle designed to be launched from a torpedo tube. The concept enables the Navy to launch UUVs from submarines.

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Tags: Defense News Future Trends Integrated Battle Problem 24.1 Samuel Paparo unmanned systems US Navy US Pacific Fleet