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(US Naval Institute)   Navy to buy "Ghost Fleet" of unmanned robotic warships, hopes not to get foiled by a bunch of meddling kids   (news.usni.org) divider line
    More: Cool, United States Department of Defense, large unmanned surface vehicles, Unmanned vehicles, Navy, larger Navy force structure, part of the battle force, Navy plans, large USV  
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1620 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Mar 2019 at 1:42 AM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



47 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2019-03-13 07:16:43 PM  
This seems like a bad idea. Eventually, someone is going to hack one of those things and plow it into the side of an aircraft carrier or otherwise turn it against the battle group.
 
2019-03-13 10:05:13 PM  
Of course, we're not already wasting a shiatton of money on military crap we'll never need just so congress can get votes from their districts.
 
2019-03-13 10:37:19 PM  
Old technology.
i.ytimg.comView Full Size
 
2019-03-14 01:52:39 AM  
images-na.ssl-images-amazon.comView Full Size

Jamie Lee Curtis claims this is her worst movie, and I can't argue w/ that.
 
2019-03-14 01:54:19 AM  
What a bunch of meddling kids might look like.

topcartoons.tvView Full Size
 
2019-03-14 02:26:47 AM  

khatores: This seems like a bad idea. Eventually, someone is going to hack one of those things and plow it into the side of an aircraft carrier or otherwise turn it against the battle group.


Don't be silly.
Iraqi insurgents hacked Predator drone feeds, U.S. official indicates
 
2019-03-14 02:31:38 AM  

Trocadero: [images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com image 342x430]
Jamie Lee Curtis claims this is her worst movie, and I can't argue w/ that.


Ironically enough, one of Billy Baldwin's better ones.
 
2019-03-14 02:34:16 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-03-14 02:46:05 AM  
"Optionally unmanned"? Uhhhh, maybe keep just a couple guys on there, just in case the unhackable command system, isn't. And for other maintenance issues that might just pop up. It'd be kind of embarrassing to let a Chinese fishing trawler come up alongside one and board it after it self-disabled to some issue or another.
 
2019-03-14 02:46:11 AM  
Cool no one will get demoted when these get crash happy
 
2019-03-14 03:16:14 AM  

starsrift: "Optionally unmanned"? Uhhhh, maybe keep just a couple guys on there, just in case the unhackable command system, isn't. And for other maintenance issues that might just pop up. It'd be kind of embarrassing to let a Chinese fishing trawler come up alongside one and board it after it self-disabled to some issue or another.


Nothing is unhackable, and that's the problem with automated systems. We're going to learn that the hard way when a major incident happens that causes people to fundamentally rethink a heavily automated military. It's just a matter of how long it takes for someone to figure it out, either through hard work alone or hard work + espionage. We don't have any kind of magic advantage over the Chinese, N. Koreans, Iranians or any independent actors out there.

Also, all of these systems are vulnerable to electronic warfare. In the modern battlescape, the theatre is a soup of electronic signals related to communications as well as jamming or false signals. We also don't have a monopoly on this technology...due to their experience in manufacturing quality consumer-grade radio hardware, the Chinese have advanced quite a bit and are able to leverage that expertise to improve the quality of their military hardware.

I'm not saying this stuff isn't worth pursuing...but we need much more robust STEM educational programs and need to be cognizant of the fact that other nations are nipping at our heels on this.
 
2019-03-14 03:25:13 AM  

khatores: This seems like a bad idea. Eventually, someone is going to hack one of those things and plow it into the side of an aircraft carrier or otherwise turn it against the battle group.


It's insane not to.

If you're not fighting a completely lopsided war, ships are just giant floating targets anyway.  It'll be like a game of Battleship where both sides can see the other's board, except it only takes one hit to sink the carrier.
 
2019-03-14 04:07:32 AM  

Conservative Evangelical Millennial Cyclist: [img.fark.net image 310x445]


vignette.wikia.nocookie.netView Full Size
 
2019-03-14 04:57:13 AM  

Tom-Servo: Conservative Evangelical Millennial Cyclist: [img.fark.net image 310x445]

[vignette.wikia.nocookie.net image 580x887]


SALLY ANN HOWES?

TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

My life is ruined..........
 
2019-03-14 05:53:59 AM  

starsrift: "Optionally unmanned"? Uhhhh, maybe keep just a couple guys on there, just in case the unhackable command system, isn't. And for other maintenance issues that might just pop up. It'd be kind of embarrassing to let a Chinese fishing trawler come up alongside one and board it after it self-disabled to some issue or another.


Unmanned is the point.  Sailors are the biggest expense in the Navy and this is a means of lowering that.  Of course, it still isn't really clear what the CONOPS of these things are so I am not sure what utility it has.

Additionally, unless they specify VERY good requirements for the ship to have like, 0 maintenance when operating, this thing will be constantly breaking requiring sailors and/or civilians to be on board to fix (or go in and out of port a lot).
 
2019-03-14 07:11:54 AM  
China won't sink our ships, they'll repossess them.
 
2019-03-14 07:15:24 AM  

sleze: Additionally, unless they specify VERY good requirements for the ship to have like, 0 maintenance when operating, this thing will be constantly breaking requiring sailors and/or civilians to be on board to fix (or go in and out of port a lot).


I don't think that will be all that hard to accomplish.  We don't build ships like that today because we know we're going to have people on board to fix them.  So we tend to go for higher performance, but also higher maintenance.

If you're building something that is largely expendable because it's unmanned and the consequences of losing it are fairly minimal, you can trade some performance for robustness.

Alternatively, you can keep the performance but do it on a much cheaper basis, and simply have a reliable low-performance back up, a sort of "limp home mode".   The majority of a ship's volume is to accommodate the crew, and things for the crew.  Remove most of that, and for a given propulsion system, you can have a much smaller, and thus much faster and longer ranged, vehicle.

We've been building machines that have to operate without physical human intervention for months, years, even decades (see:  Every farkin' interplanetary probe and rover *EVAR*).  Something like a relatively inexpensive autonomous ship can solve an awful lot of thorny problems by "flooding the zone".  Things like ASW, or anti-air.
 
2019-03-14 07:17:52 AM  

khatores: starsrift: "Optionally unmanned"? Uhhhh, maybe keep just a couple guys on there, just in case the unhackable command system, isn't. And for other maintenance issues that might just pop up. It'd be kind of embarrassing to let a Chinese fishing trawler come up alongside one and board it after it self-disabled to some issue or another.

Nothing is unhackable, and that's the problem with automated systems. We're going to learn that the hard way when a major incident happens that causes people to fundamentally rethink a heavily automated military. It's just a matter of how long it takes for someone to figure it out, either through hard work alone or hard work + espionage. We don't have any kind of magic advantage over the Chinese, N. Koreans, Iranians or any independent actors out there.

Also, all of these systems are vulnerable to electronic warfare. In the modern battlescape, the theatre is a soup of electronic signals related to communications as well as jamming or false signals. We also don't have a monopoly on this technology...due to their experience in manufacturing quality consumer-grade radio hardware, the Chinese have advanced quite a bit and are able to leverage that expertise to improve the quality of their military hardware.

I'm not saying this stuff isn't worth pursuing...but we need much more robust STEM educational programs and need to be cognizant of the fact that other nations are nipping at our heels on this.


Knowing systems limitations and adding sufficient complexity to the System of Systems can help to reduce the risk to acceptable levels. It can be done.
 
2019-03-14 07:19:03 AM  

DarkVader: khatores: This seems like a bad idea. Eventually, someone is going to hack one of those things and plow it into the side of an aircraft carrier or otherwise turn it against the battle group.

It's insane not to.

If you're not fighting a completely lopsided war, ships are just giant floating targets anyway.  It'll be like a game of Battleship where both sides can see the other's board, except it only takes one hit to sink the carrier.


The high cost of ships and vulnerability to asymmetric warfare drives different solutions.
 
2019-03-14 07:26:15 AM  
first thing I thought of:

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size


not that interesting (james river ghost fleet)
 
2019-03-14 07:26:56 AM  

ol' gormsby: Tom-Servo: Conservative Evangelical Millennial Cyclist: [img.fark.net image 310x445]

[vignette.wikia.nocookie.net image 580x887]

SALLY ANN HOWES?

TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?

My life is ruined..........


I think you'll be able to distinguish the two roles.....

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-03-14 07:54:36 AM  

sleze: Sailors are the biggest expense in the Navy and this is a means of lowering that.


Not just in terms of dollars, but in terms of performance also.  All that volume and weight dedicated to keeping a human crew healthy results in a significant performance penalty.

Think about the difference between a Cessna 172 and an MQ-1 Predator drone.  They're approximately the same size, weight, flying speeds, etc., but the Predator can fly much higher and much farther because it doesn't have to accommodate human beings, and this is with an engine that has just 72% of the horsepower of the Cessna.  But it can be much more streamlined and get that much more performance.
 
2019-03-14 07:58:17 AM  
Hopefully admiral Thrawn doesn't get his hands on the fleet.
 
2019-03-14 08:08:10 AM  

toetag: first thing I thought of:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 320x215]

not that interesting (james river ghost fleet)


No, that is pretty cool. Dad was stationed there in the 60's and he mothball fleet was much bigger. Lots of WW2 stuff; over by Little Creek Amphib base there were hundreds of landing craft on shore. At the beach at Little Creek the Marines would do mock landing assaults, pretty cool for a 10 year old to see.
 
2019-03-14 08:28:04 AM  
The Venture Bros.: Sit On My Lap. It's Storytime.
Youtube 56DCp3jB8ZI
 
2019-03-14 08:51:45 AM  
Using drones as anti-air and anti-missile pickets is probably the best use for them. They can be kept under a close eye in case anything goes wrong, very short command and control loops, they can be truly unmanned with a mothership and if they eat an anti-ship missile whelp, so long and thanks for all the fish and better them than the carrier.

The problem is they will be turned into a bloated, multi-role craft that does everything badly and comes in massively over-budget clusterfark like the LCS. The LCS should of been a River Class vessel with a changeable box launcher.
 
2019-03-14 09:05:43 AM  
What is stopping some low budget operation from catching one in a steel mesh net, and plundering the expensive missiles and weapon systems it's carrying?
 
2019-03-14 09:10:23 AM  

Norfolking Chance: Using drones as anti-air and anti-missile pickets is probably the best use for them.


I think you're missing the best use of all:  As ASW assets.
 
2019-03-14 09:14:12 AM  

Destructor: What is stopping some low budget operation from catching one in a steel mesh net, and plundering the expensive missiles and weapon systems it's carrying?


Self-destruct.  Sensors to detect if it's been boarded, and if a specific code isn't entered, *BOOM*.
 
2019-03-14 09:24:35 AM  

dittybopper: Destructor: What is stopping some low budget operation from catching one in a steel mesh net, and plundering the expensive missiles and weapon systems it's carrying?

Self-destruct.  Sensors to detect if it's been boarded, and if a specific code isn't entered, *BOOM*.


Makes sense... But, also makes the things seem... What's a good word... "Fragile"?
 
2019-03-14 09:47:52 AM  
Ruh roh! My mic boondoggle sense is tingling!
 
2019-03-14 09:55:02 AM  

dittybopper: We've been building machines that have to operate without physical human intervention for months, years, even decades (see:  Every farkin' interplanetary probe and rover *EVAR*)


Agreed. The X-37 does over a year in orbit by itself.
 
2019-03-14 10:08:19 AM  

Destructor: dittybopper: Destructor: What is stopping some low budget operation from catching one in a steel mesh net, and plundering the expensive missiles and weapon systems it's carrying?

Self-destruct.  Sensors to detect if it's been boarded, and if a specific code isn't entered, *BOOM*.

Makes sense... But, also makes the things seem... What's a good word... "Fragile"?


Well, considering these are going to be 2,000 ton ships the size of modern corvettes (the ship, not the car), I don't think it's going to be a major issue.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-03-14 10:10:50 AM  

Destructor: dittybopper: Destructor: What is stopping some low budget operation from catching one in a steel mesh net, and plundering the expensive missiles and weapon systems it's carrying?

Self-destruct.  Sensors to detect if it's been boarded, and if a specific code isn't entered, *BOOM*.

Makes sense... But, also makes the things seem... What's a good word... "Fragile"?


losing a multibillion bollar warship b/c some drunk guy in a fishing boat decided to take some selfies is a hell of a thing
 
2019-03-14 10:13:50 AM  

thehobbes: dittybopper: We've been building machines that have to operate without physical human intervention for months, years, even decades (see:  Every farkin' interplanetary probe and rover *EVAR*)

Agreed. The X-37 does over a year in orbit by itself.


Well, there is a bit of a difference.  You can put something up in orbit, or on an interplanetary trajectory, and it's not really subject to the vicissitudes of atmosphere, wind and wave, and (for the most part) mechanical wear and tear in its propulsion system.

But that sort of thing can be built very reliably and with redundant capability.  Because you're saving a huge amount of weight and volume from not having meatbags aboard, you can build things to be even more robust.
 
2019-03-14 10:15:55 AM  
So you come across an unmanned drone warship. First thing would be to block all cellular/radii signals, then you get onboard knock out the communication relay, set up mock gps signal then just constantly readjusted the location to get the ship back to your port to strip it like a car left on the street in Detroit.
 
2019-03-14 10:18:18 AM  
Realistically i can see these as good force multipliers in the fashion that we are effectively admitting that we can't defend a fleet from modern cruise missile threats (we cant) and we need to have more platforms in the water, more ready launchers available.  They give a fleet commander the ability to put more ordinance in the air faster.

They also make a fleet more survivable b/c they are dozens more targets, which can themselves throw ECM and other countermeasures, and if necessary can be sacrificed without throwing away sailor's lives.

Expecting an autonomous unmanned ship to provide its own security in a patrol low intensity threat environment is stupid though.  it needs to be with a fleet or at least a small number of manned tender ships to provide oversight/security.
 
2019-03-14 10:41:41 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-03-14 11:05:21 AM  

tjsands1118: So you come across an unmanned drone warship. First thing would be to block all cellular/radii signals, then you get onboard knock out the communication relay, set up mock gps signal then just constantly readjusted the location to get the ship back to your port to strip it like a car left on the street in Detroit.


Any loss of guidance signal would likely put it into an autonomous mode.

The question is how do you program it? Shutdown? Self-defense?

dittybopper: Well, there is a bit of a difference.  You can put something up in orbit, or on an interplanetary trajectory, and it's not really subject to the vicissitudes of atmosphere, wind and wave, and (for the most part) mechanical wear and tear in its propulsion system.


Yes but the X-37 wasn't just maintaining an orbit like a satellite...
 
2019-03-14 11:21:09 AM  

oopsboom: Realistically i can see these as good force multipliers in the fashion that we are effectively admitting that we can't defend a fleet from modern cruise missile threats (we cant) and we need to have more platforms in the water, more ready launchers available.  They give a fleet commander the ability to put more ordinance in the air faster.


I am not sure how it allows us to put weapons in the air faster.  We DO have capability against modern cruise missiles threats throughout the engagement timeline.  Some more limited than others maybe but still a capability.
 
2019-03-14 11:21:49 AM  
Honestly, not sure which is worse: manned warships or unmanned warships. Manned warships are full of people, and we know that quite a few of them vote Republican. That's farking terrifying.

OK, I convinced myself. Unmanned warships are OK by me.
 
2019-03-14 11:36:42 AM  

thehobbes: dittybopper: Well, there is a bit of a difference.  You can put something up in orbit, or on an interplanetary trajectory, and it's not really subject to the vicissitudes of atmosphere, wind and wave, and (for the most part) mechanical wear and tear in its propulsion system.


Yes but the X-37 wasn't just maintaining an orbit like a satellite...


Roughly 99.999% of the time, yes, it was.
 
2019-03-14 11:58:57 AM  
What  a ghost ship might look like.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-03-14 01:44:36 PM  

tjsands1118: So you come across an unmanned drone warship. First thing would be to block all cellular/radii signals, then you get onboard knock out the communication relay, set up mock gps signal then just constantly readjusted the location to get the ship back to your port to strip it like a car left on the street in Detroit.


That's actually pretty easy to guard against.  Have it head home via inertial navigation system if it loses communication.

You're going to want to build that in because of the potential to lose the GPS constellation anyway in a real war, so you'll already have an INS as a backup.  Also, flux gate magnetic compass.  If the GPS says you're heading north-east, and both the INS and compass say you're heading west, system ignores the GPS.
 
2019-03-14 01:56:43 PM  

dittybopper: That's actually pretty easy to guard against. Have it head home via inertial navigation system if it loses communication.


Perhaps you forgot about this important documentary:
img.fark.netView Full Size

Yes, it ate subs. But the principle is similar.
 
2019-03-14 02:54:57 PM  
So, the ghost ships are there ro prevent who was it, Adm. Zumwalt, from coming in with small boats and blowing holes in the big ones?

And then, of course, the obligatory (can't believe no farkers have brought this one up):
img.fark.netView Full Size

(die Fliegender Hollander)
 
2019-03-14 04:45:05 PM  
bigdata-madesimple.comView Full Size


Approves
 
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