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Naval Warfare

USN exercise integrates manned and unmanned technologies

21st April 2021 - 10:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Sea Hunter MUSV, pictured on 20 April 2021 during UxS IBP 21. (Photo: USN/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas Gooley)

Unmanned Integrated Battle Problem 21 explores how unmanned capabilities can be incorporated in day-to-day USN operations.

The USN on 19 April commenced its first ever multi-domain exercise exploring manned and unmanned capabilities.

Led by the Pacific Fleet and executed by the 3rd Fleet, Unmanned Integrated Battle Problem 21 (UxS IBP 21) ‘will generate warfighting advantages by integrating multi-domain manned and unmanned capabilities into the most challenging operational scenarios’, the USN stated.

It added: ‘This exercise will directly inform warfighters, warfare centres and developers to further incorporate unmanned capabilities in day-to-day Fleet operations and battle plans.’

UxS IBP 21 is scheduled to finish on 26 April. It features the MQ-8 Fire Scout and SeaGuardian UAVs; the Sea Hunter and Seahawk medium unmanned surface vessels (MUSVs); other USVs such as the Mantas T38 Devil Ray; and small and medium unmanned underwater vehicles with modular payloads.

RADM Robert Gaucher, US Pacific Fleet director of maritime headquarters, noted that ‘by exercising our full range of unmanned capabilities in a Pacific warfighting scenario, UxS IBP21 directly supports US Indo-Pacific Command's warfighting imperative of driving lethality through experimentation’.

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