Friday, November 28, 2014

Chief of Naval Operations Continues Focus on Unmanned Systems

2 May 2014 - Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert tours Pennsylvania State University's Applied Research Laboratory facilities to see firsthand their innovative anti-torpedo torpedoes and unmanned undersea vehicles. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released)
Since he assumed office in 2011, the development of unmanned systems payloads has been a priority during the tenure of U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathon Greenert.  His recent Position Report provides updates to several programs discussed in his original Navigation Plan.

Highlights related to unmanned systems include:

Undersea Warfare
"In the fall of 2014, our large displacement unmanned undersea vehicle (LDUUV) program reached
its first acquisition gate, Milestone A, which initiated technology development."

Unmanned Air Systems
"We continued testing the X-47B Unmanned Carrier Aircraft System Demonstrator, and for the first time, we executed simultaneous flight operations with manned and unmanned aircraft in the carrier
environment." Interesting, there is no mention of the oft-delayed UCLASS program request for proposal.

 "MQ-8B Fire Scout completed its 10th deployment aboard FFGs. Nineteen larger and longer endurance MQ-8C Fire Scout vehicles are now on contract, and the first MQ-8C deployment aboard LCS will occur in 2015."

Target Systems
"To improve combat readiness at sea, we also delivered 111 high speed surface targets (small craft), which are used to enhance the realism of fleet training events involving “swarm tactics.” To provide
continued training against air threats to our surface forces, we awarded a contract for a new Aerial Target Operations Facility at Dam Neck, VA. When it opens in 2017, it will consolidate all aerial target operations into a single facility, and provide an increased capability to operate three different types of aerial targets."
15 November 2014 - Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert examines a Switchblade UAS during a recent visit to AeroVironment Inc. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Released)

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