The US Navy has announced the participation of four prototype uncrewed surface vessels (USV) in the multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022.
The four vessels are Ranger, Sea Hunter, Seahawk and Nomad.
Nomad and Ranger are Overlord USVs while Sea Hunter and Seahawk are Medium USVs.
Together these vehicles, operating both autonomously and by manned teams, will carry out a wide range of missions.
The prototype vehicles will provide warfighting capabilities and extend the reach of manned assets while reducing the risks for warfighters.
All four prototypes deployed in the exercise are operated and maintained by the Unmanned Maritime Systems Programme Office (PMS 406), within the Programme Executive Office (PEO) Unmanned and Small Combatants (USC).
However, the practical execution of these vessels will be handled by the personnel from Unmanned Surface Vessel Division One, within Surface Development Squadron One.
US Navy captain and PMS 406 programme manager Scot Searles said: “The integration of autonomous USVs with manned combatants will give fleet commanders much-needed enhancements to maritime domain awareness, thereby increasing decision speed and lethality in surface warfare.”
During their participation in RIMPAC, the four prototypes will provide intelligence, carry payloads and gather data in a realistic environment, working side-by-side with other exercise participants.
This will allow the vehicles to determine how well they function with the larger fleet.
The latest iteration of RIMPAC is being conducted in and around Hawaii and southern California from 29 June to 4 August.