Stephen Carlson, UPI
16 August 2017
Northrop Grumman will demonstrate autonomous unmanned undersea and unmanned surface vehicles at the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise at the Naval Surface Warfare Center this week.
The demonstration will coordinate multiple undersea and surface autonomous vehicles alongside an aerial vehicle to collect targeting data for enemy seabed infrastructure, followed by an undersea vehicle engaging the target.
The unmanned vehicles will be operated by a single management command and control in accordance with the Navy Common Control System requirements.
"Executing undersea strike with existing technology using multi-domain autonomous platforms equipped with networked sensors and advanced mission management for command and control provides significant offensive and defensive capability in the maritime environment," Northrop's undersea warfare director Jeff Hoyle said in a press release.
Previous demonstrations last year showed undersea vehicles providing targeting information for air-dropped weapons, but the current exercise will apply toward engagement by the undersea vehicle directly in a test environment.
ANTX is an annual three-day event designed to test new technology with academic, industry and Navy participants.
Networked unmanned vehicles autonomously coordinating their data-sharing and movements is a key part of future strategy for the Navy, as well as other services. Networks of drones could be deployed for sea mine hunting, clearing underwater obstacles, and detection of enemy submarines and other threats.