Top U.S. Navy officials are pushing for more unmanned vehicles and finding new applications for existing platforms as the service redesigns for a new era of near-peer competition.
Carlos Del Toro, secretary of the Navy, said that in today’s threat environment, which is “characterized by rapid mobility, anti-access/aerial denial systems and cyberwarfare,” Marines and Navy service members could benefit from the use of drones.
“Drone technology over the last 20 years has been transformational on the battlefield and [it’s] exactly the kind of technology we need to embrace,” Del Toro said during a recent Modern Day Marine exhibition.
He also highlighted the importance of amphibious ships, noting that they “provide the expeditionary heart” for the Navy’s Amphibious Ready Group-Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Amphibious ships can be paired with unmanned systems to deliver new capabilities for the Navy, according to U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger. Some of these capabilities could include launching unmanned undersea vessels from amphibious ships for missions like antisubmarine warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“No platform, no unit, is capable of a more diverse set of missions across the range of military operations than an ARG-MEU,” Berger said.
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