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US Navy facing tough challenges in uncrewed vessel programmes

5th January 2024 - 13:18 GMT | by Damian Kemp in London

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The construction of six XLUUV Orcas for the USN has been underway. (Photo: Boeing)

The US Navy has major plans for uncrewed vessels, both surface and underwater, but faces programme challenges according to a review of information by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS).

US Congress should consider the industrial implications of a move towards uncrewed naval surface and undersea vessels, check the need for common architectures for the vessels, and closely monitor procurement costs and plans, according to the findings of a new congressional report. 

The issues were highlighted in the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report “Navy Large Unmanned Surface and Undersea Vehicles: Background and Issues for Congress” which was submitted to Congress in December 2023.

The US Navy (USN) has been undertaking the process of purchasing uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) and uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs) of various sizes — the Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) and

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Damian Kemp

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Damian Kemp


Damian Kemp has worked in the defence media for 25 years covering military aircraft, defence …

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