Navy launches missile from robot boat in Middle East
The US Navy said it had fired “lethal munitions” from an unmanned ship in international waters in the Middle East for the first time, in an exercise it said took its capabilities to the “next level”. A target boat was destroyed during the exercise, which was captured on video. It was conducted last month by US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) Task Force 59, the Navy’s first unmanned and artificial intelligence task force.
Exercise Digital Talon was conducted in international waters around the Arabian Peninsula. “We are focused on the operational application of new, advanced unmanned systems and artificial intelligence technologies,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, Navcent commander.
“During Digital Talon, we took a significant step forward and took our capabilities to the next level, beyond maritime domain awareness, which has traditionally been a focus of Task Force 59. “We have proven that these unmanned platforms can increase the lethality of can increase the fleet. By doing so, we strengthen regional maritime security and increase deterrence against malign activities.”
The video shows an unmanned 38-foot double-hulled speedboat, equipped with two outboard motors, plowing through the waves. Two naval operators monitor the operation from a remote location. Once the target is found, the ‘lethal miniature air-to-air missile system’ is activated, firing a projectile. The video shows him closing in on the target and destroying it.
In a statement, the Navy said it had scored direct hits in multiple tests. And it said it was the second time in recent weeks that it had demonstrated advanced unmanned capabilities in the region.
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