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Capt. John Rucker: Navy Takes Incremental Approach Toward Unmanned Maritime Systems Devt

The U.S. Navy is working to build a range of unmanned maritime vessels through an incremental development approach, National Defense Magazine reported Thursday.

Capt. Jon Rucker, Navy program manager for unmanned maritime systems, said at the Surface Navy Association’s national symposium in Arlington, Virginia that the service branch develops modular and open systems architectures to support the insertion of new technologies into unmanned systems as they become ready.

Rucker noted that the Navy and its industry partners addressed technical challenges facing the Knifefish unmanned minehunting system in 2017, and that the vessel is slated to complete sea acceptance trials in February.

Last year, the Navy also initiated efforts to develop the Orca extra-large unmanned underwater vehicle for mine warfare and the Snakehead large displacement UUV, which is designed to conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The military branch will begin testing the Garc optionally-manned armed coastal patrol vehicle as well as the Adaro man-portable ISR platform later this year.

Rucker added that the Navy seeks to acquire unmanned surface vehicles larger than 160 feet in one or two years.

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