He noted there is not an un-
manned aerial vehicle that “you can
do pitch, roll and yaw with.” All in
operation now are guided by com-
puter point and click. “We don’t
have true autonomy.”
“Full autonomy is needed to
prevent operator overload,” said
Vice Adm. W. Mark Skinner, princi-
pal military deputy to the assistant
secretary of the Navy for research,
development and acquisition.
Shannon pointed to the need for
new thinking away from the ideas
that apply to manned aircraft.
“We have been held back by the
manned aircraft paradigm,” he said.
Rear Adm. (select) DeWolfe
“Chip” Miller, director of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the chief of naval operations, also listed reliability, endurance and reduced certification
time as challenges.
“I takes too long to integrate a
UAS into a ship,” he said, noting
that the process “needs to be
Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder,
chief of naval research, said the key
challenges for unmanned vehicles
included the need “to operate in a
[Global Positioning System]-denied
environment,” and the need for “ar-
tificial intelligence to reduce opera-
Klunder listed terrain and “run-
ning into people” as the main chal-
lenges for unmanned ground sys-
For unmanned undersea systems, reliability, endurance, speed
and communications were the
main challenges, he said.
Klunder announced the March
opening of a new autonomy lab at
the Naval Research Laboratory in
Brian Brown, executive assistant to
the Oceanographer of the Navy.
Brown, speaking at the AUVSI
Program Review Feb. 9, said the
service expected to reach its goal of
150 Littoral Battle Space (LBS) UUVs
by 2015, as well as eight larger LBS-AUVs (autonomous undersea vehicles) by then, joining approximately
12 older UUVs.
Brown predicted the Navy would
deploy 40 to 60 vehicles at any one
time and that they “will give us an
unprecedented view of the ocean.”
He also said the Navy would field a
large-diameter UUV (LDUUV) from
an operational platform by 2020.
Capt. Duane Ashton, program
manager for unmanned systems for
the program office for the Littoral
Combat Ship (LCS), said the Navy
expected to award an engineering
and manufacturing development
contract for the LDUUV in fiscal
2016. He said the LDUUV could be
deployable on LCSs, Ohio-class
guided-missile submarines and
Virginia-class attack submarines.
A detachment of Marines from Marine
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1
in Afghanistan completed their first
unmanned aerial system cargo delivery in a combat zone Dec. 17. The
unmanned helicopter moved about
3,500 pounds of food and supplies
from Camp Dwyer to troops at
Combat Outpost Payne. The helicopter, an unmanned variant of the K-MAX, completed the delivery in about
an hour and a half.
Marine, Navy Officials
Praise Cargo UAS
The two K-Max Cargo UASs de -
ployed for a demonstration in
Afghanistan have made a good
impression on the Marine Corps.
Lt. Col. Brad Beach, speaking at
the AUVSI Program Review Feb. 8,
said the K-Max, built by Lockheed
Martin and Kaman Corp., performed
its first mission Dec. 17 and had
flown 109 hours in 94 sorties, lifting
155,080 pounds of cargo to forward
operating bases (FOBs) that included Meals, Ready-To-Eat, armor and
even replacement engines for light
armored vehicles. The Cargo UAS
also proved useful in taking material
in need of repair out of the FOBs and
back to the main operating bases.
“This is an area that shows a lot
of promise,” Beach said. “Retro-
grade operations will become more
and more a part of [the Cargo UAS]
Beach also said the Marine Corps
is looking at using the Cargo UAS to
deliver tailored supply packages to
small units out in the field.
Reporting by Seapower Correspondent
Megan Scully. Managing Editor Richard
R. Burgess and Assistant Editor John C.
Marcario contributed to this report.
170 UUVs by 2015
The Navy expects to field 170
unmanned undersea vehicles
(UUVs) by 2015, according to Capt.
; In the article “Banana Warfare: Marines pioneer close air
support in Central America”
(February, page 31), Fred
Allison was incorrectly identified. He is a historian at the
Marine Corps History Division
and served as a Marine F- 4
radar intercept officer.