US Military Acquiring Underwater Swarm Warfare Technology

US Military Acquiring Underwater Swarm Warfare Technology

Underwater combat. image by pixabay

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The US Navy aims to acquire several unmanned surface and underwater vehicles capable of deploying drone swarms in contested territory. The Navy has handed a contract to Raytheon for versions of its Coyote small unmanned aerial vehicle configured as loitering munitions, or “suicide drones”. 

The Navy announcement said that the contract, awarded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), was for “Coyote Block 3 (CB3) Autonomous Strike” drones to support work on “Autonomous Swarm/Strike – Loitering Munitions,” according to reports by The intended concept of operations (CONOP) and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) are to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision strike capability from maritime platforms. 

Additionally, the High Volume Long Range Precision Strike (HVLRPS) from USVs and Fires (HVLRPF) from UUVs demonstrations will leverage prior efforts including the Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) and progress on the Mobile Precision Attack Vehicle (MoPAV).

It’s not clear from Raytheon’s website whether the Block 3 Coyote is based on the design of the Block 1 or Block 2 version of that drone. Advanced Ceramic Research first flew the initial Coyote design, which is tube-launched and features two sets of pop-out wings, as well as a pop-up v-tail, in 2007. The design passed between a number of companies before finally ending up in Raytheon’s portfolio.

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