Military Trends, Technology, and International Developments > Unmanned Vehicles

US Navy plans to build an unmanned Ghost Fleet

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Ayoshi:
From: Navy Recognition - 15 March 2019 11:39

--- Quote ---As the Navy faces more complex threats to its manned ships from Russia and China, the service is moving quickly to field an unmanned “Ghost Fleet” — a new breed of armed unmanned surface combatants will add more sensors and weapons to the current fleet.

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The Ghost Fleet will eventually carry vertical launching silos for missiles. Silos such as the U.S. Navy’s Mk. 41 and Mk. 57 can carry everything from SM-2 and SM-6 air defense missiles to the new Long Range Anti-Ship Missile and Naval Strike Missile, to anti-submarine weapons.

A Ghost Fleet ship will be a floating, unmanned reservoir of firepower, augmenting the firepower of manned warships at sea.
--- End quote ---
   


The US Navy plans to continue buying two a year until FY 2024, for a total of about $2.7 billion (Picture source: US Navy)

Ayoshi:
https://navaltoday.com/2019/10/02/us-navys-ghost-fleet-overlord-unmanned-vessel-program-enters-next-phase/


--- Quote ---US Navy’s Ghost Fleet Overlord unmanned vessel program enters next phase
October 2, 2019

Phase I converted two existing commercial fast supply vessels into USVs and focused on autonomy system integration; demonstration of navigational autonomy; and hull, mechanical and electrical system reliability upgrades.

The work concluded in September with a successful capstone demonstration of both Overlord vessels executing interactions compliant with the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS). Along with reliability of systems tests, more than 600 hours of autonomy testing was successfully completed during Phase I, including several long-range autonomous transits in a complex navigational environment.

Phase II will be conducted using the same ships from Phase I and will focus on the integration of government-furnished command-and-control systems and payloads and involve more complex and challenging naval experimentation.

Phase II will complete in Fiscal Year 2021 at which point the Overlord vessels will transition to the Navy for further experimentation.

The experiences gleaned from both Phase I and II of Overlord are designed to inform and accelerate the Navy’s Large and Medium USV programs, which are managed by the same team in PEO USC.
--- End quote ---

Ayoshi:
https://navaltoday.com/2019/10/02/us-navys-ghost-fleet-overlord-unmanned-vessel-program-enters-next-phase/


A Ghost Fleet Overlord test vessel takes part in a capstone demonstration during the conclusion of Phase I of the program in September. A Ghost Fleet Overlord test vessel takes part in a capstone demonstration during the conclusion of Phase I of the program in September. Photo: US Navy
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A Ghost Fleet Overlord test vessel sits pier-side following a capstone demonstration. Photo: US Navy

Ayoshi:
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/05/draper-tapped-by-u-s-navy-to-support-future-unmanned-surface-vehicles/


--- Quote ---Draper Tapped By U.S. Navy To Support Future Unmanned Surface Vehicles
07 May 2020

Overall, the U.S. Navy has selected 40 companies to participate in a five-year, $982 million MAC (Multi Award Contract) to support the research, development and delivery of unmanned surface vehicles. In 2018, Draper won a similar award for the Navy’s unmanned underwater vehicles.

The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity MAC identifies task orders in six functional areas. Draper will provide support in payloads, non-payload sensors and autonomy and vehicle control systems.
--- End quote ---


Medium size USV in trimaran configuration. Austal picture.

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