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The Navy's Largest Drone Submarine Hunter Arrives At Pearl Harbor
A 132-foot robot warship that arrived at Pearl Harbor for testing as a submarine hunter is “creating a new paradigm for Navy surface forces,” the U.S. Pacific Fleet said.
Former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work was a little more specific about the potential at the 2016 christening of the Sea Hunter in Portland, Ore.
“You can imagine anti-submarine warfare pickets, you can imagine anti-submarine warfare wolf packs, you can imagine mine warfare flotillas, you can imagine distributed anti-surface warfare action groups … and you might be able to put a six-pack or a four-pack of missiles on it,” Work said.
“Now imagine 50 of these warships … operating together under the hands of a flotilla commander,” Work said. The Navy would be unlike any in history, with “a human-machine collaborative battle fleet that will confound our enemies.”
With China and Russia pursuing their own large and small unmanned vehicles, that revolution in sea-based drone warfare is unfolding. So far, there’s one Sea Hunter — the world’s largest unmanned ship — with the Office of Naval Research contracting for another in the series in December.
The “medium displacement unmanned surface vehicle” (MDUSV) Sea Hunter, still a prototype, arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Oct. 31 for the first time, said Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman.
“Sea Hunter’s arrival in Hawaii demonstrates that (unmanned surface vehicles) are capable of deployed blue-water operations, enabling a new class of naval system, as well as long-range endurance of (such a ship) under remote human supervisory control,” Gorman said in an email.
The Office of Naval Research plans to continue developing Sea Hunter into what could become an entirely new class of vessel able to traverse thousands of miles of open seas for months at a time without a single crew member aboard.
The distinctive trimaran already interacted with aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and submarines during “Trident Warrior” exercises this past summer and in 2017.
Sea Hunter, an entirely new class of unmanned ocean-going vessel gets underway on the Willamette River following a christening ceremony in Portland, OreU.S. Navy/John F. Williams
According to the Pentagon, the ship cost $23 million to produce and is part of a low-cost drone wave that would augment much more expensive manned ships.
“The U.S. military has talked about the strategic importance of replacing ‘king’ and ‘queen’ pieces on the maritime chess board with lots of pawns,” Fred Kennedy, with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, said in a release earlier this year.
Raytheon, which helped develop a suite of radars for the Sea Hunter, envisions swarms of undersea drones launched from the seafloor to track enemy submarines linked with Triton unmanned planes and Sea Hunters skimming the surface.
“This is the vision for undersea warfare in the 21st century — a vast network of unmanned vehicles, smart weapons, sonars, and software all working together to make the U.S. Navy’s traditional fleet of ships and submarines more powerful than ever,” the defense contractor said.
Boeing, meanwhile, has a 51-foot robotic submarine known as Echo Voyager which can dive to 11,000 feet and is being developed into a Navy project.
Russia has its own unmanned underwater vehicles, including one called Cephalopod which might be able to carry torpedoes, while China is also developing large autonomous underwater drones.
©2018 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
White supremacist Coast Guard officer stockpiled firearms and hit list of Democrats for mass terror attack
A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.
At least 4 American veterans among group arrested in Haiti with arsenal of weapons and tactical gear
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goad a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."