The US Navy will deploy 150 artificial intelligence-powered ‘ghost ships’ across the seven seas by 2045. This means one in three of its warships will be an uncrewed robotic warship.
These AI-powered ships will be smaller and cheaper to operate as they do not need life-support systems and can be piloted remotely. Also, it will address the problem of hiring new people from a low volume of candidates to join the military.
The expansion was announced in the ‘Chief of Naval Operations Navigation Plan 2022’ report that states the military branch is expanding its fleet to ensure it controls most of the seas and competes with the opposition, specifically China.
The plan also includes 350 manned ships and approximately 3,000 aircraft, which is a huge increase from just 75 new ships added to the regime over the past two decades. The Navy operates 300 warships at the moment.
The Navy’s pursuit of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) slowed in recent years amid Congressional skepticism over the new technology, according to USNI News.
The US Navy’s ghost ships will have surface and subsurface platforms that will provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
The vessels have sensors to ‘see’ incoming enemies and obstacles as it glides through the waters autonomously.
The goal is to enable human bridge crews to converse with robot ships using normal speech over the worldwide radio system used for ship-to-ship communication.
The Navy ships would be designed to understand secure radio transmissions, incorporate their meaning into its world model, develop appropriate maneuvering plans and respond via voice on the radio.
The project is being run by the Office of Naval Research and has been described as an ‘autonomous undersea weapon system’ according to a report by New Scientist.
It has been named CLAWS by the US Navy.
It’s expected that CLAWS will be installed on the new Orca class robot submarines that have 12 torpedo tubes and are being developed for the Navy by Boeing.
The four robotic warships developed and trained over the past four years will be added to the Navy’s fleet, including one named ‘Nomad.’