Tuesday, April 5, 2016
SEA GOING DRONES!
5 April 2016:
Drones in the air have made the news recently in many contexts: civilian flown drones that spy on neighbors, mess with airliners trying to land at civilian airports, and cause lots of problems. There are also quite large military drone aircraft flown to spy on the enemy, carry weapons, and drop big bombs. But now, the U.S. Navy launched a prototype of an ship drone to hunt enemy submarines......
how cool is that! Check this out:
A new video shows off an autonomous watercraft dreamed into reality from the men and women at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ( DARPA), all with the hopes of tracking submarines that that haunt the depths of the ocean. Click the link below:
Sub Hunter Drone at sea
The very first prototype hopes to demonstrate the potential of what will ultimately become a fleet of unmanned ships, known as Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessels (to be pronounced "active" for short). The 132 foot long vessel managed to log a top speed of 27 knots during its test in Portland, Oregon, and it'll be ready for open seas this summer when it launches from the California coast. The drone ship's official christening is fast approaching on April 7, and the Navy seems pretty excited by the prospects of "an unmanned vessel optimized to robustly track quiet diesel electric submarines."
In addition to tracking submarines, the ACTUV could prove useful in a number of additional operations.Everything from serving as a supplier to other ships, countering undersea mines, and aiding in the logistics of complex operations could be carried out with these unmanned vessels, especially given their ability to remain at sea for three months at a time without a human crew.
In preliminary tests, the drone has successfully tracked a submarine from 1 kilometer away, which the Pentagon says is a major improvement in the technology. "Picking up the quiet hum of a battery-powered, diesel-electric submarine in busy coastal waters is like trying to identify the sound of a single car engine in the din of a major city," said Rear Admiral Frank Drennan, commander of the Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command.
ACTUV ships are also expected to help lower costs for the U.S. Navy, helping them save human capital and resources with this autonomous technology. It's still unclear as to whether these water drones will be weaponized, but if you happen to see an unmanned vessel floating around the California coast this summer, don't be alarmed. It's just an ACTUV ship, waiting to do its duty. Thanks to Fox News and the US Navy for the information.
Pretty soon, maybe we will fight wars sitting in our air conditioned bunkers, drinking coffee and watching the whole thing on TV...... No more salt spray in the face, no more refueling at sea (always one of my personal favorites) and no need for mid-rats and high density coffee - they'll be ordering in from Starbucks! Hmmmm.
Until next time,