U.S. Navy wants larger robot warships


The U.S. Navy wants to work with private industry to build the world’s largest unmanned warship.

The Navy wants 10 Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV) ships in five years, according to an August 2019 report by Popular Mechanics magazine. The ships would serve as scouts for the main battle fleet and would carry sophisticated radar and sonars or floating magazines with extra anti-air and cruise missiles.

The larger unmanned ship would build upon the Navy’s experience with Sea Hunter, pictured, an unmanned ship that in 2019 was the first to sail from the mainland to Hawaii. The LUSV will be capable of semi-autonomous or fully autonomous operation.

A report by U.S. Naval Institute News said the Navy asked for U.S. $400 million in fiscal year 2020 to build two LUSVs that are about 200 to 300 feet long.

If completed, the new LUSV will be the largest unmanned ship to date and will have limited accommodations for a human crew, if necessary.

The ship will be generally unarmed but will have the ability to accept payloads of anti-ship missiles and land attack cruise missiles. In that sense, it will be an extension of the Navy’s fleet of destroyers and cruisers.