US Navy used the unmanned ship Saildrone Explorer in the Persian Gulf

(ORDO NEWS) — The US Navy has begun operating the Saildrone Explorer unmanned vessel in the Persian Gulf. This will allow a better assessment of its capabilities, as well as bring the military closer to understanding how unmanned ships can be used.

At the end of January, the US Naval Central Command (NAVCENT) began operating the Saildrone Explorer robot in the Persian Gulf. This was part of an initiative to integrate new unmanned systems and artificial intelligence into the operations of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

“The initial offshore evaluation of Saildrone in the Gulf of Aqaba exceeded our expectations. We are applying the findings and rapidly expanding operations,” NAVCENT said in a statement. During the tests, the unmanned vehicle worked continuously at sea for more than 30 days.

US Navy used the unmanned ship Saildrone Explorer in the Persian Gulf 2

The Saildrone Explorer is seven meters long and about five meters high. For movement, he uses the “sail” and the power of the wind. The ship has a set of sensors to create a general picture of what is happening. To get more complete information, the drone uses artificial intelligence.

The ship’s sensors are powered by solar energy. It is assumed that sailing drones can be equipped with various payloads for specific requirements, including observation missions. One of the advantages of the Saildrone Explorer is its exceptionally low cost of ownership. In any case, it should be much cheaper than conventional ships.

Saildrone Explorer has become one of the many projects of unmanned ships that the Americans are implementing today. Last September, NAVCENT set up Task Force 59 in Bahrain to begin evaluating the new Mantas T-12 and Devil Ray T-38 unmanned maritime systems off the coast of Bahrain.

It is noteworthy that this took place on the eve of the International Maritime Exercise (IMX) 2022 exercises. Unmanned systems of the partner countries of the Americans should take part in them.

Recall that last year, Leidos supplied the US Navy with the autonomous ship Seahawk, the sister ship of the famous Sea Hunter. The displacement of the trimaran is 145 tons. The body is made of composite materials. Such ships should allow the Navy to more effectively detect Russian and Chinese submarines.

US Navy used the unmanned ship Saildrone Explorer in the Persian Gulf 3

Beijing itself, by the way, has also stepped up efforts in this direction in recent years. In 2019, the Chinese began testing the JARI-USV unmanned boat, which is capable of carrying a wide variety of payloads, including a wide range of weapons.

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