Unmanned systems are one of the Navy’s top modernization priorities, but it seems the air vehicles are faring better on Capitol Hill than vessels in the water. Congress has repeatedly rebuffed or revised Navy requests for funding in a way that seems likely to slow the march toward an operational capability in 2023. Legislators want proof that unmanned vessel technology works, but they aren’t supplying the kind of money needed to prove that unmanned vessels can team effectively with manned vessels. That’s too bad, because China is working on unmanned systems too, and America is in a race to maintain maritime supremacy in the Pacific. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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