Navy eyes Zumwalt-class destroyers as stealthy control centers for unmanned aircraft and surface warships

April 7, 2021
The Zumwalt destroyers would use their stealth to keep a low profile in the water while controlling uncrewed vehicles at sea and in the air.

SAN DIEGO – The destroyer USS Michael Monsoor will control a menagerie of unmanned ships and aircraft this month to evaluate the ship's role in maritime reconnaissance and augment crewed ships without risking detection. Popular Mechanics reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

7 March 2021 -- The U.S. Pacific Fleet this month will conduct the exercise in the Third Fleet area of operations, likely off the coast of Southern California. The test, known as the “Fleet Battle Problem,” will involve many of the Navy’s other unmanned ships and aircraft.

That includes the Super Swarm project, which aims to develop offensive and defensive tactics against a million drones at once; Sea Hunter and Sea Hawk, two of the Navy’s robotic medium displacement unmanned surface vessels; an autonomous helicopter MQ-8B Fire Scout; and the MQ-9 Sea Guardian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Sea Hunter, one of the Navy’s pioneering small robotic surface warships, has been in service since 2017. The Navy one day could use Sea Hunter’s descendants to help detect and track enemy submarines. Sea Hawk is a similar ship.

Related: Pentagon gets serious about unmanned surface vessels

Related: DARPA asks for unmanned surface warships, rugged electronics, with no accommodation for human presence

Related: Navy moves to low-rate initial production of minehunting unmanned surface vessel

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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