MCSpl3 Rebekah M. Rinckey
One of the most important but generally overlooked missions of the U.S. Navy is port security. While incidents in peacetime are generally rare, the 2000 terrorist attack on the destroyer USS Cole remains a real danger. Now the Navy is experimenting with using one of its newest unmanned boats as a way to protect warships sitting pierside from attack.
Since the attack on the Cole, the Navy has gotten a lot more serious about port security. Now the service is testing the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) as an unmanned, autonomous sentry capable of protecting much bigger ships from interlopers. The service is testing CUSV at Norfolk Naval Base, where it simulated patrolling near the guided-missile destroyer Arleigh Burke and the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis.
CUSV is a small, unmanned boat developed by Textron Systems. CUSV is also modular and can be adapted to many different roles. For the harbor security role, the Navy added electro-optical cameras, loudspeakers, and a remote-controlled .50-caliber machine gun. While CUSV has the ability to conduct many tasks autonomously, such as patrolling a set geographic area, only a human monitoring the situation remotely can fire the weapon.
Anyone out there who DOESN’T know any geeks/gamers/hackers who’d love to play with this [guaranteed to be] overpriced toy?