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The US Navy wanted automatic supply vessels.

US Navy wanted automatic supply vessels.

Gradually, more and more powers will be transferred to autonomous vehicles. This is a natural process that pushes the development of science and technology, as well as the desire to save money on maintenance personnel. This replacement is especially valuable when it comes to military operations.

But it is better to start the robotization of military service small, for example, with autonomous supply vessels..

Image source: Sea Machines.

Recently, the US Department of Defense signed a multi-year contract with the Boston company Sea Machines Robotics to develop an autonomous sea barge for refueling and re-equipping aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing. We are talking not only about drones, but also, or, above all, about helicopters and tiltrotors, the range of which can be significantly expanded by autonomous sea tankers..

In the first phase, Sea Machines Robotics will create a modular support vessel management system. Demonstration of the system is scheduled for the end of this year. It will be deployed on one of the offshore commercial cargo barges. The demonstration barge and related infrastructure will be provided by the shipping operator FOSS Maritime.

It will also subsequently design the means of providing autonomous supply vessels, including land (berthing) infrastructure..

The first autonomous supply vessels will be modern-built robotic barges or, more simply, unmanned commercial vessels converted to automatic control. At the same time, the development of robotic vessels, initially designed for operations without a crew, will be carried out, which will obviously save space for additional cargo and make such vessels less vulnerable to surface targets.

During World War II, tankers played a significant role in expanding the scope of German submarines. But these were actually suicide bombers hanging out in the ocean on a barrel of fuel. Since then, progress in means of protection and weapons has stepped far forward, but the refueller,

as it was a powder keg, remained it.

And the autonomy of supply vessels — this is an extremely desirable thing in the troops.

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