Tuesday, November 29, 2022

US Navy bets on technology in the face of Chinese threat

concerned about the growing threat posed by ChinaThe United States Navy is producing boats Autonomous, electronic eyes that monitor enemy forces in the vast Pacific Ocean, expanding their range of firepower and protecting their sailors from harm.

The Navy is ramping up production of these autonomous ships so as not to fall behind China’s naval power, determined not to repeat the costly shipbuilding failures of recent years.

Four of the largest autonomous ships are being used in multinational naval exercises in the Pacific Ocean.

Smaller autonomous ships are also deployed in the 5th Fleet off the coast of the Middle East.

The aim is to see how the radar and sensors of these ships can be combined with artificial intelligence, and all of this integrated with conventional cruisers, destroyers, submarines and aircraft carriers, to create a new fleet Which can be deployed in large places and is difficult. To destroy the enemy, according to the Navy.

“You have to take advantage of technology. Everything takes time,” said Jeremiah Daly, Division One commander of California’s unmanned surface craft unit.

According to Navy Professor James Holmes, the Navy believes the technology can help in three key areas – weapons range, scouting, and command and control – at a low cost and without exposing personnel. Naval War Office Island in Newport, Rd.

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However, all these advantages must be verified, as well as the durability of these vessels in salt water, he added.

“You have to make sure all this technology works. It certainly would be useful, but it’s not clear to what extent it will revolutionize everything,” said Holmes, who is not speaking on behalf of the Navy. .

Before proceeding, the Navy must first convince a skeptical Congress after a series of missteps.

Their fast-moving coastal ships had propulsion problems and were quickly withdrawn. The “advanced weapon system” of their stealth destroyer fell out of use because ammunition was too expensive. And its latest aircraft carrier had problems with lift and the new aircraft take-off system.

Some say the Navy has crammed too much new technology into those ships, at high cost and failing.

“We can’t throw all the resources (to the autonomous ships) with all the problems we’ve had over the past 20 years,” Democratic Rep. Alain Luria, a retired Navy officer said.

According to Task Force Director Michael Stewart, the Navy’s Unmanned Craft Task Force has taken a new approach, employing the military equivalent of a venture capital investment model with only technologies that have been proven to work.

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According to 5th Fleet spokesman Thimothy Hawkins, while larger ships are being tested in the Pacific, promising results have already been seen with smaller ships being tested in Bahrain.

One of the boats generating the most interest is the saildrone, a sailboat with systems that work with solar power. They are equipped with radars and cameras and it is said that these ships can operate autonomously for months, without the need for re-supply or maintenance.

The Navy aims to deploy 100 unmanned ships by the middle of next year.

Admiral Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, estimates that there will be a mix of 150 unmanned ships and more than 350 conventional ships, including submarines, by 2045.

The main advantage of unmanned ships is that they are much cheaper than conventional ships, said Lauren Thompson, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute.

The United States already lags behind China in the number of warships, and the gap widens with each passing year. But according to Brian Clark, an analyst at the Hudson Institute, Congress is in no hurry to close that gap. “The Congress first wants to make a good plan and then implement it quickly,” he said.

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