The US Navy is planning on adding tech to their arsenal, by building out new automated warships. According to the Navy website, the fleet will be based in Washington DC. They say ships will be part of a small fleet, each with a small crew of 40.
The first stage is to have an automated cargo ship for airships on board to haul the cargo. This has been described as a ship that can transport up to four containers in 40-300ft arcs.
The second stage is an unmanned patrol vessel that will carry 24 vehicles with a crew of 10.
The fleet includes marine staff in the vessel, Navy members in the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, and a helicopter carrier – the USS Los Angeles. The Dragon-class patrol ships are designed to undertake reconnaissance missions on the surface of the Earth and undertake surveillance and reconnaissance missions in the water for up to 180 days.
Crew of the Dragon-class patrol ships are currently being transferred to the USS Ronald Reagan, while a fourth ship is to be built. These ships will be equipped with the “Deep Suit”, capable of doing maritime surveillance on the surface of the ocean.
The cost of the fleet, in which Boeing is a major contractor, is estimated at $5.3 billion.
The full details of what the Navy has in store for the Fleet after the tests:
“Investors already are banking on the USS New Orleans leaving its home port of Okinawa, Japan for its final tour in America, but the US Navy is set to take a more aggressive approach: its fleet plans to launch new unmanned vessels that are smaller than the size of its current fleet and make an additional commitment to the US Air Force.
The Navy plans to develop a $1bn fleet of unmanned vessels, dubbed “The Ghost Fleet” or “Supercraft”, that aim to deliver a cost-effective range of remote-controlled and autonomous underwater vehicles (ROVs) for the surface region of the oceans.”