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.