Non-traditional Drone Motherships - Cheaper & Better?
Earlier this week, guest blogger Mark Tempest posted some interesting ideas on low cost alternatives to traditional combatants which could be configured to carry unmanned surface vehicles, playing on the idea that payload truly is more important than platform. These concepts are unorthodox, though as Mark points out, not unprecedented. In a time of shrinking budgets and smaller fleets, the navy should explore how to optimize various combinations of ships and the unmanned vehicles they will carry, with an eye towards both effectiveness and efficiency. Mine counter-measures is an important, though often short-changed mission, with various trade-offs between payload and platform. Between the Littoral Combat Ship "seaframe" and mission modules, the U.S. Navy has invested billions of dollars in R&D and acquisition money to develop (though still not fully) the capability to conduct off-board, unmanned mine counter-measures. LCS will carry the Remote Minehunting System ,