MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - The Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced on Sunday a technological breakthrough that will allow unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to protect Navy ships and autonomously carry out offensives on hostile vessels, according to an ONR official statement.
“Our Sailors and Marines can’t fight tomorrow’s battles using yesterday’s technology,” the Chief of Naval Research, Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said in a statement posted on ONR website.
“This kind of breakthrough is the result of the Navy’s long-term support for innovative research in science and technology,” he added.
The sensor software used to develop “swarming” capabilities, enabling to surround hostile vessels and giving naval warfighters a decisive edge, is known as the Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing (CARACaS). The use of the CARACaS software technology to command the boats was first successfully demonstrated with 13 boats using remote controls as well as autonomously earlier in August on the James River in Virginia.
According to the ONR, when a simulated enemy vessel was detected, the robot boats speedily swarmed around the vessel, first issuing a warning before coming closer.
“This networking unmanned platforms demonstration was a cost-effective way to integrate many small, cheap, and autonomous capabilities that can significantly improve our warfighting advantage,” Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, said in the ONR statement.
USV’s cost just a fraction of a single large manned ship and the program specialists believe the breakthrough will lead to expansion to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), offering protection to warfighters in dangerous missions.
Meanwhile, the ONR published a YouTube video on Saturday showcasing a demo of the CARACaS software applied on the boats.
The CARACaS was first used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its Mars rover program which began 11 years ago.