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Autonomous Robotics Programs

Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV)

Leveraging all the lessons learned in 20 years of autonomous land and air vehicle development, GDRS is developing the maritime-specific sensors and robust endurance surveillance capabilities to support near-term and long-range maritime autonomy for military and homeland security objectives.

Under contract to the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR), San Diego, Calif., General Dynamics Robotic Systems will develop autonomous Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) for the Littoral Combat Ship Anti-Submarine Warfare Mission Module leveraging the GDRS Autonomous Navigation System for vehicle command and control system to the Navy’s unmanned surface vessel domain.

The USV will employ towed arrays, dipping sonar sensors and acoustic sources as payloads to carry out its Anti-Submarine Warfare mission. GDRS is developing fully autonomous USVs with extended range and robustness that will dramatically expand and enhance fleet operations, greatly reducing the logistics and command/control burden to the fleet, and enabling USVs to serve as tactical multipliers for missions that are currently manned, and for missions unacceptable for manned operations.

GDRS USVs will be equipped with:

  • Sensor-based situation awareness
  • Dynamic route planning
  • Harbor and sea navigation, docking, evasive maneuvers
  • Dynamic reconfiguration and management of systems & resources

Possible USV missions include:

  • Persistent Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (using radar, EO/IR, SIGINT, CBN)
  • Port & border security
  • Special Ops support
  • Autonomous search & rescue
  • Communications relay (space, air, surface, special operations support; underwater)
  • Maritime protection: anti-submarine, sea-skim missile, small boat Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)
  • Track & trail
  • Ice patrol
  • Interdiction
  • Force Protection
  • Mine Detection and Neutralization
  • Search and Recovery
  • Forward Reconnaissance
  • GDRS Manager:

    Program Sponsor: U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR)


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