A Coast Guard prototype unmanned surface vehicle performs a test off Oahu, Hawaii, Oct. 20, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Research and Development Center)

Coast Guard Completes Drone Ship Exercise in Hawaii as Navy Prepares Unmanned Asset Test

The Coast Guard in Hawaii recently wrapped up a 30-day demonstration and evaluation of two ship drone versions to better patrol the vastness of the Pacific as the Navy’s U.S. Pacific Fleet, also in the drone hunt, plans a “fleet battle problem” exercise early next year using unmanned systems “on the sea, above the sea and under the sea.”

“It’s clear that autonomous technology is a growing industry and has great potential to enhance Coast Guard operations,” Cmdr. Blair Sweigart, with the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, said in a release. “Combined with artificial intelligence algorithms, unmanned systems could be a game changer.”

The Coast Guard in February awarded two contracts worth nearly $1.7 million for unmanned surface vehicles supplied by Saildrone Inc. of Alameda, Calif., and Spatial Integrated Systems of Virginia Beach, Va. The latter system is based on a 23-foot interceptor boat outfitted for autonomous operations.

Read more at the Honolulu Star Advertiser

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