The U.S. Navy Establishes Unmanned Systems Task Group

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The U.S. Navy Establishes Unmanned Systems Task Group
The U.S. Navy’s Task Force 59 formed a new sub-force to operate unmanned systems, Task Force 59.1.

A ceremony in Bahrain announced the formation of the unmanned systems-focused task force. Task Force 59 operates in the Middle East to conduct patrol missions.

Task Force 59 is part of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet operating in the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, and Arabian Sea.

Task Force 59’s history with unmanned surface vehicles includes a recent T-38 Devil Ray USV firing test. Switchblade 300 loitering munitions were fired from a portable launcher placed on a T-38 USV, hitting a target boat. According to NREF’s article about the test, commercial components such as a SpaceX Starlink satellite communications antenna and a small navigation radar were used on the USV.

So far, 23 types of unmanned systems have been tested by Task Force 59. The U.S. Navy Aims to introduce the hybrid fleet structure, including both manned and unmanned systems working in coordination into the service through Task Force 59.

Unmanned surface vehicles are expected to be used in maritime security, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and ISR missions in the near term by the countries developing them. The U.S. Navy weighs on maritime security and small-scale anti-surface warfare roles more for the moment because of the requirements. The Middle East is a region where maritime security is perceived as a priority, so the first operationally deployed USVs are configured accordingly.

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