In the not-too-distant future, large unmanned Navy vehicles—both surface and undersea—may be regularly patrolling the waters of the South China Sea, equipped with sophisticated sensors, formidable weapon systems, and advanced analytics. As with any emerging military technology—particularly those with new, untested missions—much about how this will play out can’t be fully predicted.
How will potential adversaries like China respond to the large unmanned surface vehicles (USV) and unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV), and how will mission planning need to be altered as a result? Which tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) will prove successful, and which will need a reboot? How will the onboard analytics and other complex software need to be improved?
Changes to the large unmanned vehicles (UV) and their operations are likely to come fast, as the Navy learns what works and what doesn’t, and makes often rapid, iterative adjustments. But there’s a potential snag. With all this change, UV operators will continually be required to do things in new and different ways. Can the training keep up?