U.S. Navy Wants Killer Robot Ships

❝ Defense News reports that the U.S. navy is planning to unleash unmanned surface combatants — military robot warships, basically — to accompany other boats that are controlled by a human crew.

Last year’s naval National Defense Strategy — when it was announced at the beginning of 2018 — was focused on backing up existing aircraft carriers and bolstering peacekeeping efforts. The new focus differs: smaller surface combatants, many of which will be unmanned, and equipped with state-of-the-art sensors.

The idea is to overwhelm the enemy and make it difficult for them to track a large number of smaller ships. Having a larger number of autonomous ships will also make sensor data collection more reliable and accurate.

❝ One such autonomous warship has already made headlines in the past: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Sea Hunter is a submarine-hunting warship that can operate without humans on board for 60 to 90 days straight. Details are becoming more sparse about the Sea Hunter since the Navy recently classified any information about its future.

Might be nice if the Feds and our military didn’t just pour taxpayers dollar$ into the ocean like so much laundry detergent. Proof of concept, prototyping, pilot projects are accepted as useful in any industrial project that doesn’t involve someone in a uniform with lots of stars on his hat.

Someday, an American government will grow cojones big enough to tell the military industrial complex to go raise their own money. Have a bake sale or something. Leave taxpayer dollar$ for healthcare, education, the legitimate needs of the whole populace.

Cost of Navy ship program? How about utility, sanity?

The U.S. Navy’s $25 billion coastal warship program may face further cost overruns given ongoing design changes and delays in the equipment needed to reconfigure each ship for various missions, a new congressional report said.

“Recurring cost growth and schedule delays have jeopardized the Navy’s ability to deliver promised LCS capabilities,” the Government Accountability Office, the research arm of Congress, said in a report released on Tuesday.

The report provided more bad news for the Navy’s new class of warships, which are designed for a variety of different missions like chasing down pirates, attacking enemy submarines and sweeping for mines in shallow coastal waters.

With a mother ship at hand, you can chase down any pirates in the world with a boat that costs less than $250K. Sailors and marines on board, decent firepower and electronics, all you need. The same holds true for most minesweeping. The logistics of developing a submarine fleet capable of sneaking up on the USA even in the middle of the sort of Cold War paranoia that infects our D.C. chickenhawks – is something even the FBI might notice.

The Navy plans to buy 55 of the ships overall, a key part of its plan to increase the number of ships in the fleet to 313 over time, but costs have more than doubled in recent years.

Last week, the Navy said it would miss its summer target for awarding a multibillion contract for 10 new LCS ships, but still expected to reach a decision before the end of the year…

The Navy has already accepted a first ship of each design, and each team is working on a second ship, but all four ships faced technical, design and building issues, the report said.

RTFA even if you’re a True Believer.

I think we’re following the Brits down the same primrose path that followed the self-destruction of their empire – on sea more than anywhere else. We’re pouring taxpayer dollars into a large wet hole called the Seven Seas.