U.S. Navy Launches First-Ever Submarine Drone Squadron

USS Nimitz, USS Kitty Hawk, and USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Groups transit in formation during a joint photo exercise / Getty Images

 

The U.S. Navy launched its first-ever underwater drone squadron on Wednesday, demonstrating the growing role of unmanned craft as a vital component of the military. Continue reading

Report: U.S. Undersea Dominance is in Jeopardy

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A new study says emerging submarine detection technologies, computer processing power and platforms such as underwater drones could quickly erode the U.S. military’s global undersea dominance and ability to operate in high-threat areas such as locations near enemy coastlines.

The U.S. military relies upon submarines and undersea technological superiority for critical underwater intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions, which place assets near the surface fleet or coastline of a potential adversary. Continue reading

Why Energy Companies And The Military Want Underwater Drones

It all boils down to national security, military application, the protection of natural resources, trade routes, so on and so forth.

We already have drone aircraft patrolling the skies for the military and intelligence agencies. Now the military and energy companies want to develop their seaborne equivalent–autonomous, self-guided underwater vehicles.

Giant submarines filled with small underwater drones to protect the seas. The concept sounds like something out of a science fiction movie or a particularly trippy Sealab 2021 episode, but the U.S. military thinks it is very doable–and that it could help augment American sea power. This week, DARPA announced their new Project Hydra, an early-stage effort to fight the “rising number of ungoverned states, piracy, and proliferation of sophisticated defenses“ through autonomous underwater vehicles. Hydra itself would center around a submarine that discreetly injects unmanned aerial drones (UAVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) into warzones. Continue reading