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Could unmanned underwater vehicles undermine nuclear deterrence?

Could unmanned underwater vehicles undermine nuclear deterrence?

29-Jul-2019

One author has proposed that emerging technologies like unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) add to the complexity of the battle space and disrupt the status quo. Swarms of autonomous underwater drones could be deployed to hunt ballistic-missile submarines, targeting a cornerstone of nuclear deterrence that places nuclear assets underwater at a safer distance from a crippling first strike.

At the same time, it has been suggested that submarines might be obsolete by the middle of the century. Possible advances in artificial intelligence (AI), detection systems and signal processing, combined with swarming autonomous unmanned systems, could make it effectively impossible for submarines to maintain their stealth.

Australia’s investment in UUV technology is just beginning with the RAN set to take delivery of Next Generation Hydroid REMUS 100 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for bathymetric survey in 2019. The REMUS to be delivered to Navy are highly sophisticated and capable of gathering data for hydrographic survey and to very high specifications.

Meanwhile, global investment in UUV continues at a high rate and Hydroid has reported the delivery of the 200th REMUS vehicle to the Swedish Navy. In 2019 Hydroid reported a potential $47.9 million contract for delivery of the MK 18 family of unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) systems The Mk 18 Mod 1 Swordfish UUV for underwater reconnaissance is capable of performing low-visible exploration and reconnaissance in support of amphibious landing; mine countermeasures operations such as search, classification, mapping, reacquire, and identification.

Read More:

UUVs increasingly play a critical role in antisubmarine warfare (ASW)

The strategic role of submarines in the 21st century

Hydroid Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Delivery of 200th REMUS 100 AUV

Navy asks Hydroid to build extra versions of MK 18 mine-hunting UUV for underwater reconnaissance

 
Navy asks Hydroid to build extra versions of MK 18 mine-hunting UUV for underwater reconnaissance.



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