Killer Robo-RIBs

robo_boat.jpg Navy Plots Unmanned, Heavily Armed Fleet

The Navy has just released its “Master Plan” for robotic ships — “unmanned surface vessels,” in sailor-speak.The idea is to produce a whole bunch of these USVs, to help fight “the Global War on Terror, Irregular Warfare, and conventional campaigns.”  And to give guns to as many of these sea-bots as possible.

The Navy wants to develop four main classes of USVs.  Three of them would be armed.

The three-meter long “X-Class” machines would be for “low-end” snooping and reconnaissance; like a robotic jet ski, with a camera attached. 

The “Harbor Class” would be based on the Navy’s seven meter long rigid-hulled inflatable boats, or RIBs.  These unmanned Zodiacs would be used for dropping mine countermeasures, and fending off boat-borne bad guys with a mix of “lethal and non-lethal armament.”

The “Snorkeler Class” is a stealthy, seven-meter submersible that would stay in the water for up to a day at a time, tow ing mine- and sub-finding-gear — and maybe even carrying a torpedo or two. 

Lastly, there’s the “Fleet Class,” capable of staying in the water for 48 hours straight, and reaching speeds of up to 35 knots.  The eleven-meter long USV would be used to do everything from carrying commandos to shore, jamming enemy communications, neutralizing mines, and delivering a “Harbor Class” drone.  Naturally, it would carry its own guns and torpedoes, too, so it could conduct ‘high end’ surface warfare missions.”

from Wired defense blog, via Neatorama

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