The US Navy’s unmanned 11-metre rigid hulled inflatable boat operates autonomously during a demonstration of swarmboat technology.(AFP Photo / John F. Williams )
The US Navy has successfully completed a test mission for autonomous, unmanned boats that can protect a bigger ship, or swarm an enemy target with co-ordinated kamikaze attacks. Using existing NASA technology, these boats will be deployed within months.
“Our sailors and marines can’t fight tomorrow’s battles using yesterday’s technology,” said Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of the Office of Naval Research (ONR). “This kind of breakthrough is the result of the Navy’s long-term support for innovative research in science and technology.”
In the August test, the details of which were revealed by the ONR on Sunday, 13 rigid-hulled inflatable boats escorted a larger ship – the Relentless, overseen by a single controller located on the ship itself – down James River in Virginia.
“It could be…
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