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USVs abound at NAVDEX 2023 as firms look to fill plethora of naval requirements

23rd February 2023 - 19:00 GMT | by Harry Lye in Abu Dhabi

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Saildrone's Explorer USV is capable of extreme duration missions of up to one year on the open ocean. (Photo: Saildrone)

With navies across the globe feeling the pinch on budgets, forces are increasingly looking to uncrewed solutions to fill maritime requirements and increase their presence on the high seas.

At NAVDEX 2023, the interest in USVs was clear, with a number of companies showcasing systems for everything from anti-submarine warfare (ASW) to maritime domain awareness.

A critical task for these craft could be helping to survey vast stretches of water, such as the Arabian Gulf, where the USN's Task Force 59 (TF59) has pushed forward the integration of USVs and autonomy.

TF59 has effectively used systems from US-based Saildrone, which produces the Explorer, Voyager and Surveyor systems – each bigger than the last.

Speaking to Shephard at NAVDEX, Saildrone programme manager for maritime domain awareness/ISR and DoD projects Adam Watters

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Harry Lye

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Harry Lye


Harry Lye was Senior Naval Reporter at Shephard Media.

Harry joined the company in 2021, …

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