The U.S. Navy has a vision for a future fleet that involves deploying as many as 150 unmanned platforms, both unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) of diverse sizes and weights. The technology for USVs is well-developed with several USVs, particularly medium-sized USVs (MUSVs), having been operated at sea for protracted periods of time over several years. In multiple deployments and exercises, these MUSVs have proven their utility. Despite this, the Navy is holding off on deploying MUSVs operationally, apparently waiting until the constituent technologies for unmanned platforms are more fully developed and a concept of operations is defined. This is a mistake. MUSVs are ready for operational deployment now. The Navy needs to deploy these systems in significant numbers to support fleet operations. I have written more on this subject here.
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