Shipboard defense is the focus of several Coast Guard Research and Development Center projects that aim to bring new capabilities to
a wide range of missions.
“Currently, the [center] is exploring a number of projects which may have ship defense applications, including Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate Small Vessel
Entanglement, Non-Lethal Impact Munitions, Non-Compliant Vessel Stopping Using Less-than-Lethal Radio
Frequency Technologies and Robotic Aircraft for
Maritime Public Safety,” said LT David Couture, a
spokesman for the center.
The New London, Conn., facility always is looking
for new technology to incorporate into the fleet, he
said. Since 1962, the center has been in the business of
building and providing new technologies to all Coast
For operational security reasons, the distribution
of the detailed objectives, tests and results of the center’s projects is strictly controlled. Ultimately, decisions to implement the findings of a report from the
center, in whole or in part, must be made by the applicable sponsoring office at Coast Guard Headquarters
The Joint Non-Lethal Weapons
Directorate Small Vessel Entanglement project started in December
2007 and is expected to conclude in
December 2016. The project is a
partnership with the Office of Naval
Research, the Joint Non-Lethal
Weapons Directorate and the
Department of Defense (DoD) to
support missions in the Western
Hemisphere Strategy. It is designed
to add a non-lethal capability to stop
a non-compliant vessel that the
service currently is lacking.
The center has a team with Naval
Surface Warfare Centers in Dahlgren, Va., and Carderock, Md., that is developing a Small
Naval Arresting Rope Entangler (SNARE). The SNARE
prototype currently is fielded in a Limited User
Evaluation to confirm its performance as an escalation-of-force option. Once that is complete, the center will
draft and finalize tactics, techniques and procedures for
Coast Guard fleet use.
The Non-Compliant Vessel Stopping Using Less-than-Lethal Radio Frequency Technologies project is gathering
information on available vessel-stopping technologies
and selecting the most promising for further evaluation.
During this process, the center will identify mission
requirements for possible Coast Guard applications,
identify weight, size and power issues for selected
technologies and missions, attend demonstrations by
other government agencies and participate in testing a
prototype on a platform.
The project, which is a partnership with the Office
of Naval Research, Naval Surface Warfare Center
Dahlgren Division and Joint Non-lethal Weapons
Directorate, began in December 2014 and is slated to
conclude in December 2018. It, too, is expected to support the Western Hemisphere Strategy released by the
Coast Guard in September 2014.
As threats evolve and mission needs change,
R&D focuses on non-lethal and unmanned technologies
By JOHN C. MARCARIO, Special Correspondent
Preparing for the Future
The Coast Guard Research and Development Center is working
on a number of ship defense-related projects that will help shape
the future force.
; The Robotic Aircraft for Maritime Public Safety project is testing unmanned system capabilities for the fleet.
; The service is partnering with the Office of Naval Research on
a number of projects.
; The goal of several efforts is to assist the service in its expanded mission in the Western Hemisphere.