The US Navy has set aside $400m to research and develop two of the proposed ‘Ghost Fleet’ large unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), in its Fiscal Year 2020 defence budget.
The Navy wants to field a new breed of armed surface combatants for use alongside manned operations.
US Navy currently deploys some small size USVs for some activities but this time it is looking to buy ten corvette-sized unmanned ships to implement different types of sensors and, a new vertical launch system to fire guided missiles.
The specific hull form of the new Ghost Fleet is unknown.
According to USNI News, chief of naval operations admiral John Richardson said he hoped for swift progress on the Ghost Fleet, comparing it to the aggressive push for the navy’s MQ-25 Stingray unmanned aircraft, which has been fast-tracked for operational use by the early or mid-2020s.