Tuesday, October 7, 2014

US Navy Video On Autonomous Swarming Boats

by SandWyrm

Obviously this is just a very early tech-demonstration. But it's a glimpse of the future.

A large ship, like a Destroyer or Frigate will be able to quickly launch (from deck-mounted slide-launchers), a dozen or so small craft. Basically flat Zodiac-like boats with flat, enclosed tops. A module plug-in could carry a retractable 50 cal. weapon, rockets, a 1-2 man set of seats (for rescue), a small radar system, cameras, etc. Depending on the mission, each boat could be equipped differently.

Extrapolate a bit, and you'll see similar systems pop up on land. Where a big, expensive Main Battle Tank can control a small swarm of scout drones. With which they can check down approaches for ambushes, flank or herd infantry towards themselves, or launch high-power RPGs from a small, hard-to-target, and fast-moving platform. Eventually, only the drones would carry actual weapons, and the operators would just sit in a very heavily armored APC/IFV.


  1. Intelligent control of land drones in a dense environment would be much harder than in a flat and open sea. The thing that interests me is that it seems to be a tacit vaidation of the a-symmetrical swarm boat concept Iran is championing. Maybe it's seen as a counter to that? I'm not sure how well they would do against a crewed counterpart but so long as they can achieve a reasonable kill ratio it seems like a good plan. The Millennium Challenge wargames were a complete disaster so it does make sense.

    1. True, and this is little more than a movement demonstration. They're not showing integrated sensor coverage, fire at targets, or anything like that.

      Is the whole thing more practical than training up people to swarm around in boats to the cues of an integrated sensor/waypoint system? No idea. China would just stick people in boats and be done with it.


out dang bot!

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