Small unmanned boats travel through the water in unison.
Emergency Response and Public Safety
(Image credit: Office of Naval Research)

Four unmanned, autonomous Navy boats perform a swarm maneuver in the Chesapeake Bay. In the event an enemy vessel approaches a US Navy ship, unmanned ships such as these will be able to surround and subdue the vessel without putting troops in harm's way.

Every day the open waters off Virginia's coasts are busy with the traffic of shipping tankers, fishing boats, Navy ships, Coast Guard vessels, and recreational boaters. When emergencies occur, the vast area needing to be covered by first responders is a daunting task. Thanks to high-tech innovations in unmanned systems, search and rescue operations will take less time to locate and provide help where it is needed.

The US Navy is experimenting with unmanned systems to help locate underwater hazards, protect against enemy vessels, and inspect equipment- all while keeping troops out of harm's way and improving efficiency.

A navy submersible is being lifted out of the water via a crane.
A small Navy boat travels through the water unmanned.
A photo taken from an unmanned pontoon in motion.

(L Image Credit: Marion Doss)
(C Image Credit: Office of Naval Research)
(R Image Credit: Office of Naval Research)