The Air Force gets a lot of publicity and use out of the many drones they have tested and manufactured over the years. Sometimes the US Navy gets lost in the shuffle as far as drone news is concerned, but in essence they have been very proactive in trying to integrate sophisticated drone technology into their array of weapons and countermeasures too. They have been very ambitious in their own drone development programs and have also shown a propensity to think outside the box when it comes to drone design. Their latest drone to go into testing is a great example of that.
Why is the Navy so interested in using drones? For one, the Navy has long touted drones as an inexpensive force multiplier to counter Russia’s resurgent and China’s emerging naval power and capabilities. They have been especially concerned with the improvements in the Chinese submarine fleet and their anti-ship missiles that have now put America’s many Pacific-based carrier battle groups at risk in the event of war. It is something that could very well change the entire balance of power in the Pacific. Our superior drone technology could shift this balance right back towards America again.
The Navy has been very active in drone research for several decades now. In 2015, they successfully tested taking off and landing a stealth drone aircraft from an aircraft carrier. Also, just recently the navy started testing at sea what has been touted as a totally autonomous sub stalker and killer. It has appropriately been named the ‘Sea Hunter.’ It is a massive 145 foot long trans-oceanic capable vessel that is able to sustain itself at sea for two to three months at a time. If it does what the navy says it can in sea trials, it will be a definite game changer for the US in the pacific theater and elsewhere where it is deployed. At 20 million dollars to produce, it is much less expensive than any modern day manned naval vessel that traverses the oceans of the world.
But the ‘Sea Hunter’ is not the Navy’s newest and craziest looking drone. That honor belongs to a drone that was originally named ‘Robo Tuna’ but the navy has since wisely changed that to the much more intimidating name of ‘Ghost Swimmer.’ It resembles an extremely large fish or shark dressed in a wetsuit; it even looks and swims like a fish when it is deployed in the water and that is exactly how the Navy wants it.
What type of mission is the ‘Ghost Swimmer’ designed for? There are several different jobs it is capable of performing, such as reconnaissance, maintenance and intelligence gathering. It can inspect the hulls of ships for damage so no diver has to be put at risk in the water and it can also be deployed along enemy shores to monitor their forces that are in place. It looks to be a very affordable and creative weapon that definitely has a place in the Navy’s ever improving drone inventory.
So the next time you are at the beach and you see what you think may be a shark near you, only panic a little because it may only be the US Navy testing their latest drone technology.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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