“All non-lethal work is in the singular purpose to equip
the Coast Guard fleet with additional technology and tools
to complete their job safely and more efficiently. By providing additional non-lethal tools and tactics, the fleet will be
able to better complete their mission and enforce maritime
law,” said D.J. Hastings, a project manager at the center.
“Modern day terrorists deliberately hide among
civilians in an attempt to shield themselves from law
enforcement, and when a Coast Guard unit pursues a
non-compliant vessel the crew could be non-compliant
— deliberately or unintentionally,” Hasting said.
In order to protect civilian boaters, the Coast Guard
is developing non-lethal options to stop and confront
suspicious boaters while reducing the risk of injury,
death and damage to property.
“By providing additional escalation-of-force options, Coast Guard pursuit crews can determine the intent of potentially dangerous, hostile individuals and
modify their behavior,” Hastings said.
The Non-Lethal Impact Munitions project aims to
provide a capability to enforce maritime law with non-lethal systems. Last year, the Coast Guard tested and
compared several non-lethal impact munition technologies. The device that was selected currently is in a Limited User Evaluation to eliminate the uncertainty regarding the functionality of the technology.
The project, which started in November 2013 and
will conclude in March 2017, is expected to improve
operational performance, efficiency, mission execution
In partnership with Coast Guard
Technical Support Working Group
and the DoD Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, the project also is
slated to support the Western Hemisphere Strategy.
The Robotic Aircraft for Maritime Public Safety project is trying
to determine the risks, benefits and
limitations of operating existing
commercial, off-the-shelf unmanned aerial system technology
in a maritime environment for cutter forces other than the National
“There is a significant difference
between technology that works
over land and technology that
works in a maritime environment,”
Dr. Andrew Niccolai, an unmanned
aerial systems subject matter expert
with the Research and Development Center, said in a Coast Guard
release in July after the center conducted the first of five demonstrations to help develop
requirements for, and determine the viability of, existing small unmanned aircraft systems for the Coast
Guard and other maritime first responders.
The center conducted the second demonstration in
October. Steve Dunn, a project manager with the center, said the other three tests will take place next year.
“These demonstrations help us identify capabilities
as well as expose industry to needs that will help the
Coast Guard, other maritime first responders and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operational
components more efficiently complete their maritime
missions,” Niccolai said in the July release.
The center also is developing requirements, standards and a concept of operations, leveraging DoD and
original equipment manufacturer investments in
unmanned aerial technologies.
Coast Guard officials are evaluating realistic maritime security and first-responder scenarios and creating a knowledge resource database that will guide
future platform and sensor development to meet maritime first-responder requirements.
Testers also are evaluating the technologies in different environmental areas to see how they respond, and
conducting an assessment for potential demonstration
and evaluation facilities with special-use airspace for
The project, partnership with the DHS Science and
Technology Borders and Maritime Division, started in
2013 and will end in February 2019. ;
49 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / DECEMBER 2015
LTJG David Steele, front, from Coast Guard Sector Miami Response prepares to
launch a WASP III unmanned aerial vehicle while Coast Guard Research and
Development Center officials Dr. Andrew Niccolai, left, and Timothy Ledbetter man
the ground control station during a demonstration of hand-launched unmanned aircraft aboard the Fast Response Cutter Richard Etheridge in fall 2014.