Non-lethal weapons added to unmanned boats for Navy exercise

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. Officials at the U.S. Navy U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) operated an experiment where unmanned surface vessels (USVs) deployed non-lethal weapons for force protection and maritime security operations. The operation was conducted near Fort Eustis in Newport News, Va.

The -- operating in autonomous and semi-autonomous modes employed a directional acoustic hailer andeye dazing laser and flash-bang munitions. Each non-lethal weapon was set to respond to threatening behaviors from intruding vessels.

About 100 successful runs were completed during the experiment, collecting geo-positional data from the boats, surveys from fleet users as well as observer logs from subject matter experts.

The Fleet Experimentation plan will continue this summer with the beginning of the annual Trident Warrior experimentats.

During the Trident Warrior 2011experiments the USVs were evaluated while autonomously reacting to vessels traveling in protected waterways.

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