Drone ships make debut at RIMPAC 2022

Colloquially called drone ships, multiple unmanned platforms participated in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, in concert with manned platforms. Unmanned and remotely operated vessels extend the capability of interconnected manned platform sensors to enhance capacity across the multinational forces.

Unmanned Surface Vessel Division One (USVDIV-1) Commanding Officer U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jeremiah Daley said RIMPAC 2022 was an excellent opportunity to train his team on common naval cultures between partner nations.

“It was rewarding to host discussions with senior leaders from participating countries on unmanned operations for RIMPAC 2022 and future concepts, as we move our partnerships forward with manned and unmanned teaming,” said Daley. “The opportunity to sail in such a large formation of ships was not lost on me as an operationally and tactically minded surface warfare officer.

“I appreciate the presence of such a large, interconnected, capable coalition of like-minded partner nations here and what it represents for our shared values moving forward.”

Known as the ghost fleet, the unmanned surface vessels Seahawk, Sea Hunter, Ranger and Nomad participated in RIMPAC 2022.

Seahawk and Sea Hunter are each 130 feet long with a central hull and two outriggers. Ranger and Nomad are 200 feet long, 35 feet wide and have a huge cargo deck on the back.

Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, three submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. 

The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

Text credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Kylie Jagiello U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs.

Photo credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Aleksand. PACIFIC OCEAN – Medium displacement unmanned surface vessel Sea Hunter sails in formation during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, July 28. 

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