The U.S. Navy’s fleet of autonomous surface ships is now being prepared.

first autonomous fleet of U.S. Navy surface ships to arrive by 2023;  Here's how USV works

(Photo: Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Charles Oki/US Navy via Getty Images)
In this US Navy handout, a US Marine Corps C-130 Hercules aircraft leads a formation of F/A-18C Hornet attack fighters and A/V-8B Harrier jets over the aircraft carrier USS George Washington July 27 2010 off the coast of South Korea.

As part of the preparation, the defense department launched the three-week unmanned and AI integration event called “Digital Horizon”.

Once ready for deployment, the new fleet of autonomous surface craft/unmanned surface craft (USV) will be considered the world’s first USV fleet.

The U.S. Navy’s first fleet of autonomous surface ships arrives

According to the latest Maritime Executive report, the US Navy’s Digital Horizon 2022 event will test 15 different types of unmanned systems, including USVs.

first autonomous fleet of U.S. Navy surface ships to arrive by 2023;  Here's how USV works

(Photo: Photo by MAZEN MAHDI/AFP via Getty Images)
A Man-Portable Tactical Autonomous Systems (MANTAS) T-12 unmanned surface vehicle (USV) sails alongside Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) Abdulrahman Al Fadhel in Gulf waters during a joint naval exercise between the US 5th Fleet Command and Bahraini forces , on October 26, 2021.

Read also: Europe’s most ambitious fighter jet project back on track; Development of prototype to start

Unmanned surface craft are already used in various industries. But there is no USV fleet used for defense yet.

NOAA explained that USVs are water craft that can operate independently. They are often deployed by other ships.

Then they can explore the water surface alone or with other ships/USVs.

These autonomous surface craft are typically used to collect data, support submarine counterparts, and provide real-time communications.

In the case of the U.S. Navy’s forthcoming fleet of unmanned surface ships, the USVs are expected to improve regional maritime security and bolster area deterrence.

“I’m excited about the direction we’re going,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, the commander of the US Naval Forces Central Command.

The US Navy’s Digital Horizon event

The US Navy’s Digital Horizon 2022 event already started on Wednesday, November 23. Since it is a three-week naval exercise, it is expected to end around December 7.

The Digital Horizon event will test several unmanned surface vehicles, such as the following:

Exil DriX

A versatile USV capable of remotely piloted and monitored autonomous operations.

L3Harris Arabian Fox MAST-13

This high-speed autonomous surface craft is designed for patrolling missions. It can be deployed and recovered by other naval vessels.

Open Ocean Robotics Data Explorer

A solar-powered USV that can explore the sea for months. It is designed to collect ocean environmental data.

These are just some of the USV models the US Navy is testing. You can click on this link to see more ships.

While the US Navy is working on its upcoming USV fleet, which is expected to arrive as early as 2023, other countries are improving their defense technologies as well.

Earlier, China’s H-20 stealth bomber was unveiled.

The Royal Navy also took part in the largest military exercises in the Pacific.

For more news updates on USVs and other defense innovations, always keep your tabs open at TechTimes.

Related article: This military-designed unmanned underwater vehicle has a battery life of 110 hours

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Written by Griffin Davis

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