‘Next Level’: US Navy’s unmanned boat fires weapon in Middle East for first time

A US Navy drone ship successfully fired “lethal munitions” into international waters in the Middle East, officials said Thursday, the first such exercise in the region. The Navy said the unprecedented videotaped exercise took its capabilities to the “next level.”

The maneuver – known as Digital Talon – was carried out by Naval Task Force 59, a team based on unmanned and Artificial intelligenceThe Central Command of the US Navy announced in a statement. On Oct. 23, task force members identified and targeted simulated hostile forces using a method called “manned-unmanned timing” and launched live munitions from a drone ship to destroy a target boat, officials said. they did

A US Navy drone ship fired “lethal munitions” into international waters near the Middle East on October 23, 2023.

United States Naval Central Command/US Fifth Fleet

The system “successfully achieved direct hits every time,” the news release said. The launch, which was in international waters around the Arabian Peninsula, was monitored by a human operator on shore who “made engagement decisions.”

A video shared by the Navy shows an unmanned boat with two outboard motors zipping over the waves. The footage also shows naval operators monitoring the process from a distant location. Once the target is acquired, a missile is fired from what the Navy calls a “lethal miniature air-to-air missile system” behind the drone. The video also showed a successful impact moment.

An unmanned MARTAC T-38 Devil Ray, equipped with a lethal miniature air-to-air missile system, operates in the Arabian Gulf on October 26.

US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Vernier

“We are focused on the operational application of new and advanced unmanned systems and artificial intelligence technologies,” Vice Adm. Brad Cooper said in the news release. “During Digital Talon, we took a significant step forward and advanced our capability to the ‘next level’ beyond maritime domain awareness, which has been the traditional focus with Task Force 59. In doing so, we are We are strengthening maritime security in the region and increasing deterrence against malicious activities.

This is the second time in as many months that the Navy has successfully demonstrated such capabilities, Cooper said. In September, several unmanned aerial and water vehicles were able to track ships and small boats of the Iranian Navy and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps over several days while conducting routine patrols in and around the country. Strait of Hormuz. Cooper said 12 different unmanned platforms were integrated with manned ships for the exercise.

The unmanned system hit the target.

United States Naval Central Command/US Fifth Fleet

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