Unmanned Surface Vessel Division One’s (USVDIV-1) unmanned surface vessels (USVs) Ranger, Mariner, Seahawk and Sea Hunter arrived in Sydney, Australia, for a scheduled port visit October 24 ahead of their participation in bilateral exercises with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
During the exercises, USVDIV-1 will collaborate with the RAN on testing unmanned systems in concert with industry partners to advance a shared understanding of these capabilities to meet strategic requirements.
“I look forward to furthering the strong relationship our navies have worked hard to create,” said U.S. Navy Commander Jeremiah Daley, commanding officer of USVDIV-1. “Our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific relies upon developing these advanced capabilities that will create the asymmetric warfighting advantages to deter aggression in contested environments.”
Along with the USVs, the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Oakland also arrived in Sydney. All five U.S. Navy vessels are currently employed in the ongoing U.S. Pacific Fleet exercise Integrated Battle Problem (IBP) 23.2 to develop concepts of operations for future unmanned programs of record and further integrated USVs into routine operations alongside manned surface combatants.
“In order to develop a program as different and disruptive as small, medium, and large USVs, integrating with allies and partners early and consistently in its development is key to our success,” said Daley. “Through exercises like IBP 23.2 and Autonomous Warrior, we continue to learn from experience in an operational theater and deepen our interoperable strength.”
USVDIV-1’s mission is to test, evaluate and operate in support of integrating USVs into fleet operations and provide recommendations to Navy leadership on the development of unmanned systems.