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U.S. Navy Employment Options for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs)

U.S. Navy Employment Options for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs)

Scott Savitz
Irv Blickstein
Peter Buryk
Robert W. Button
Paul DeLuca
James Dryden
Jason Mastbaum
Jan Osburg
Philip Padilla
Amy Potter
Carter C. Price
Lloyd Thrall
Susan K. Woodward
Roland J. Yardley
John M. Yurchak
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 156
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  • Book Info
    U.S. Navy Employment Options for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs)
    Book Description:

    This report assesses in what ways and to what degree unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) are suitable for supporting U.S. Navy missions and functions. It briefly characterizes the current and emerging USV marketplaces to provide a baseline for near-term capabilities, describes USV concepts of employment to support diverse U.S. Navy missions and functions, and evaluates these concepts of employment to identify specific missions and functions for which they are highly suitable.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8469-9
    Subjects: Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxx)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxxi-xxxii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxiii-xxxvi)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    Although unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) have not developed as rapidly as other types of unmanned systems or received as much media attention, they are by no means new. Primitive unmanned vessels, such as fireships (vessels filled with combustibles, set on fire, and allowed to drift into enemy ships), have been used for millennia.

    In modern history, the development of USVs precedes that of other unmanned systems: the first remotely controlled vehicle of any kind was the “Teleautomata” USV developed and tested by Nikola Tesla in 1898. The first operational use of a USV was in 1944, when Germany used a...

  10. CHAPTER TWO The USV Marketplace Is Vigorous but Narrow
    (pp. 7-16)

    To better understand available and emerging USV capabilities, we conducted a brief review of the USV marketplace, fulfilling the first objective of our research: characterizing the state of the current and emerging USV marketplaces. The intent was not to catalog all USVs but to broadly characterize key aspects of the market, such as the purposes for which USVs have been developed; the operational capabilities of those USVs; the countries where they are manufactured; and the distribution of attributes that enable or limit their performance, such as payload capacity, range, or size. We evaluated these data sets to better understand the...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Developing and Evaluating USV Concepts of Employment
    (pp. 17-30)

    In Chapter Two, we examined the prospective supply of USVs for consideration by the U.S. Navy. In this chapter, we begin to consider the demand signal—the ways in which the U.S. Navy could employ USVs in support of its missions and supporting functions. To that end, we analyzed 62 different naval missions and functions to understand how they are currently being performed or have been performed in the past. We then developed concepts of employment to ascertain how USVs could contribute to these missions and functions. Subsequently, we evaluated the suitability of using these USV concepts of employment to...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR USVs Are Highly Suitable for Diverse Naval Missions
    (pp. 31-42)

    This chapter presents the results of our evaluation, determining the degree to which USVs are suitable for naval missions and functions. It also identifies the degree to which the U.S. Navy can leverage the current and emerging USV marketplaces by presenting the level of maturity of USV technologies for each mission and function we considered. In addition to presenting overarching findings relative to our evaluation criteria, this chapter also discusses additional benefits of USV development and employment that emerged during our analysis.

    Of the 62 missions and functions we evaluated, 27 are highly suitable for USV employment. Table 4.1 divides...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Capitalizing on the Potential of USVs: Key Enablers
    (pp. 43-54)

    Despite extensive growth in USV capability over the past two decades, many of the most promising technological advances remain in the realm of research and experimentation. Autonomy and assured communications are force multipliers in USV operations, but these capabilities will be limited in the near term. Our analyses suggest that USV desirability could also be enhanced by developing a common USV platform with modular payloads that would enable optional manning, as well as by investing in technologies to increase USV endurance. In this chapter, we describe these key enablers and highlight technological, operational, doctrinal, and programmatic issues associated with them....

  14. CHAPTER SIX Program Sponsorship and Acquisition Management Challenges
    (pp. 55-58)

    In this chapter, we summarize some of the programmatic implications of introducing USVs into U.S. Navy programs of record.

    The U.S. Navy will need to decide which organization will be responsible for developing a USV’s operational and programmatic requirements, which organization will sponsor the program’s resources, and how the development or acquisition program will be organized. For missions in which a USV’s requirements are closely coupled to specific host platforms or involve closely related concepts of employment (e.g., mine warfare), these concerns are probably minimal. In the mine warfare case, for example, the resources and requirements sponsor will likely be...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 59-64)

    To reiterate, we found that USVs are highly suitable for a number of U.S. Navy missions and functions. These missions and functions are listed along the top row of Table 7.1.

    As the column distinctions in Table 7.1 indicate, the levels of technological advancement of USVs to fulfill specific missions within these categories vary. USV capabilities to support some missions are in or near the market and could be considered for acquisition, whereas USV capabilities to support other missions are less technologically advanced and require R&D to bring them to fruition.

    These missions and functions leverage many of the particular...

  16. APPENDIX A Concepts of Employment for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance
    (pp. 65-74)
  17. APPENDIX B Concepts of Employment for Antisubmarine Warfare
    (pp. 75-86)
  18. APPENDIX C Concepts of Employment for Mine Warfare
    (pp. 87-100)
  19. APPENDIX D Concept of Employment for a USV Training Platform
    (pp. 101-106)
  20. APPENDIX E Concept of Employment for a USV Test Platform
    (pp. 107-112)
  21. APPENDIX F Concept of Employment for Armed Escort and to Counter Fast Attack Craft
    (pp. 113-116)
  22. Bibliography
    (pp. 117-120)