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    Unmanned Surface and Undersea Vehicles

    jhelb
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    Post  jhelb on Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:39 am

    Should the Russian Navy start designing large unmanned surface vehicles? In other words corvette, frigate sized surface vehicle?

    This latest report suggests that the US Navy will soon start to build such large unmanned surface vehicles as well as large unmanned undersea vehicles.

    The US Navy wants to acquire three types of UVs (which this report refers to collectively as large UVs) as part of an effort to shift the Navy to a new fleet architecture (i.e., a new combination of ships and other platforms) that is more widely distributed than the Navy’s current architecture. Compared to the current fleet architecture, this more-distributed architecture is to include proportionately fewer large surface combatants (i.e., cruisers and destroyers), proportionately more small surface combatants (i.e., frigates and Littoral Combat Ships), and the addition of significant numbers of large UVs.

    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R45757.pdf
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    Azi

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    Post  Azi on Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:46 am

    jhelb wrote:Should the Russian Navy start designing large unmanned surface vehicles? In other words corvette, frigate sized surface vehicle?

    This latest report suggests that the US Navy will soon start to build such large unmanned surface vehicles as well as large unmanned undersea vehicles.

    The US Navy wants to acquire three types of UVs (which this report refers to collectively as large UVs) as part of an effort to shift the Navy to a new fleet architecture (i.e., a new combination of ships and other platforms) that is more widely distributed than the Navy’s current architecture. Compared to the current fleet architecture, this more-distributed architecture is to include proportionately fewer large surface combatants (i.e., cruisers and destroyers), proportionately more small surface combatants (i.e., frigates and Littoral Combat Ships), and the addition of significant numbers of large UVs.

    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R45757.pdf
    Unmanned ocean vehicles are impossible to control in a real conflict! Without satellites and in heavy EW surroundig nor remote control can be established and no KI can replace humans, because the situation will be more complex than in aerial conflict. Only doomsday weapons are possible, following a programmed path and bringing a nuclear warhead to target.

    But unmanned vehicles are possible for surveillance, they have endurance and in conflict situation the KI can keep the vehicle out. That's a valid concept for the future.

    I'm very sceptical about unmanned vehicles in general! They are poor in perfomance, only positive points are endurance and costs. Imagine a unmanned destroyer armed with nuclear warheads and the KI going crazy... Suspect

    Russian Navy is going a very smart and good way...more automation and smaller but better armed ships! So the crew costs (big factor!!!) can be kept low.
    Here something from "Military Watch Magazine", it's a bit superficial but not bad in the conclusion...
    https://militarywatchmagazine.com/article/russia-s-new-22350m-frigate-will-have-more-firepower-than-america-s-cruisers-and-heavy-destroyers-reports

    Gorshkov-M will have more firepower as Arleigh Burke and is with Tsirkon and Kalibr better armed. Arleigh weighs more and has 50 % more crew...wich one would you buy, if you include all costs for the next 20 years??? Imagine Gorshkov, Gorshkov-M combined with 80k carrier and Lider destroyers What a Face unbeatable!!! And by the way...Gorshkov is the most beautiful frigate worldwide now love but this is off-topic. pwnd
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:52 am

    Should the Russian Navy start designing large unmanned surface vehicles? In other words corvette, frigate sized surface vehicle?

    No.

    Ships are expensive and larger ships are expensive, but if we look at unmanned large aircraft... they are not that much cheaper than their manned equivalents and certainly not as durable and robust... I mean I realise the airframe life of a decent manned fighter is about 6,000 hours, or in the case of the indecent fighters like the F-35 it is reportedly less than 2,000 hours, but problems with unmanned aircraft in flight are generally terminal and so I doubt you would get an enormous number of operational cycles from them...

    You would need communication channels to these unmanned vessels... imagine someone hacking a robot corvette armed with 5,000km range nuclear armed cruise missiles.... or even just anti ship missiles in an international shipping lane...

    It comes down to what benefit are you expecting to make it worth it...

    Saving the wages paid to crew means little because you would need a support crew to manage operations anyway... and the cost of automating absolutely everything... and ensuring adequate safety of the ship... I mean with no crew as standard then one safety feature could be to fill the entire ship with nitrogen so the chance of fires on board is minimalised, but if you run aground or run into an iceberg or shipping container in the water there would be no one to send to stop the water coming in so you would need to seal off the entire section and just let it fill up...

    Eventually it might be a good idea, but not now.
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    Post  Hole on Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:14 pm

    USV´s make sense if you keep them in the size of an Osa, max. Tarantul class. For coastal defence, in littoral waters. One version for ASW fitted with sonars, ASW missiles, torpedos and so on, second version with ASM´s. A few Uran or Tsirkon. Plus Pantsir-M for air defence and a small gun.

    With larger USV´s you got the problem with the law of the sea at hand. A foreign power could declare your unmanned ship/boat as danger for shipping lanes, jam the command signals and salvage it.
    jhelb
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    Post  jhelb on Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:07 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    You would need communication channels to these unmanned vessels...

    Secure communication with submarines and unmanned surface ships has been established using technologies like Laser Communication.

    https://newatlas.com/lasers-underwater-communication/55952/


    GarryB wrote:imagine someone hacking a robot corvette armed with 5,000km range nuclear armed cruise missiles.... or even just anti ship missiles in an international shipping lane...

    How will someone hack into a ship far away from the coast? There are hardly any wireless Internet connection in the high seas.

    Moreover, modern cryptography techniques like Quantum Cryptography among others is making communication with ships, submarines very secure.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:36 am

    Laser is line of sight...

    The whole point of unmanned platforms is to remove humans from the equation because the job is boring (ie recon) or dangerous (ie recon)... you send a drone because it is cheap and expendable, but the information it collects is valuable.

    Bigger vessels are too expensive to be expendable...

    How will someone hack into a ship far away from the coast? There are hardly any wireless Internet connection in the high seas.

    A 650mm torpedo with an EMP warhead of 300kgs fired to go off directly below the target frigate or Corvette means it is lights out... follow that up with a helicopter with special forces on board and they can board the vessel and take it over... or just sink it.

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    Post  Isos on Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:07 pm

    US have plenty of satellites and UAV yet they still use U2.

    Sometimes you must have a human because IA in drones is always limited.
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    Post  jhelb on Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:33 pm

    GarryB wrote:Bigger vessels are too expensive to be expendable...

    But Air Forces are using large UAVs like Global Hawk and X-47B. Russia too is developing the Mig SKAT which is a large UAV.
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    Post  Hole on Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:33 pm

    Each modern ship got a SATCOM antenna. Some specialists could use those to enter the systems of the USV.

    A 20380 in the centre of a small group of small USV´s (200 - 250ts) plus some UUV´s and VTOL UAV´s. This would work very good against subs.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:05 pm

    US have plenty of satellites and UAV yet they still use U2.


    Satellites have specific orbits that don't necessarily go over what you want to look at when you want to look at them.

    Most low orbit satellites go around the earth in about 90 minutes or an hour and a half... which means depending upon its flight path at best it might be over the target for 6 minutes... but much of the time it is no where near the target of interest... even when it goes over it perfectly it will only be over it for 6 minutes at most before it continues on its way and might not come over the the target for a couple of days.

    In comparison the U2 and UAV fly much lower and get a much better view but are vulnerable to being shot down.

    The situaiton will dictate which tool they use, but the U2 and UAV are the most flexible.

    Sometimes you must have a human because IA in drones is always limited.

    For most recon jobs it is just a case of looking in these places for this period of time and send back the results... a UAV is pretty ideal and the AI can be quite simple.

    If the job becomes complicated... ie a highly desirable target appears in the target zone and needs to be attacked immediately then UCAVs come in to their own.

    Conversely it is ironic but a U2 operating on the fringes of Iranian airspace is probably less likely to be shot down than a UAV because of the repercussions of a shootdown.

    But Air Forces are using large UAVs like Global Hawk and X-47B. Russia too is developing the Mig SKAT which is a large UAV.

    That is for extended endurance... these drones are nothing like the size of a strategic bomber... or even a Backfire theatre bomber...

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    Post  RTN on Thu May 07, 2020 9:58 pm

    GarryB wrote:

    The whole point of unmanned platforms is to remove humans from the equation because the job is boring (ie recon) or dangerous (ie recon)... you send a drone because it is cheap and expendable, but the information it collects is valuable.

    Bigger vessels are too expensive to be expendable...
    Agree with your assessment of large unmanned surface vessels but somewhat large unmanned underwater vessels (UUVs) have great potential to replace SSKs.

    SSKs can be phased out and a number of UUVs can be employed.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat May 09, 2020 10:25 am

    I think you underestimate the complexity of operating in shallow waters on your own... it is probably as much of an art as it is a science.

    I think for a long period UUVs might be used from SSKs to expand their capacity and potential, but just like the days of drone fighter planes are a fairly long way off I think the same is true for SSKs and other complex roles.
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    Post  RTN on Sat May 09, 2020 8:54 pm

    GarryB wrote:I think you underestimate the complexity of operating in shallow waters on your own... it is probably as much of an art as it is a science.
    So you are saying that there are complexities of operating in shallow waters that are best addressed by SSKs'? What are these complexities?

    GarryB wrote:I think for a long period UUVs might be used from SSKs to expand their capacity and potential, but just like the days of drone fighter planes are a fairly long way off I think the same is true for SSKs and other complex roles.
    Yes. SSKs might have to work in tandem with large UUVs for a few years but then UUVs can certainly take over that role that is now being performed by SSKs. Here in the U.S we no longer operate SSKs.

    UUVs can be deployed within the operating radii of maritime reconnaissance aircraft that can cue them into an attacking position.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun May 10, 2020 11:55 am

    So you are saying that there are complexities of operating in shallow waters that are best addressed by SSKs'? What are these complexities?

    The Lada class SSK has a crew of 35 officers and men... if we split that up into 8 hour shifts because the sub need to operate 24/7 so three 8 hour shifts would keep it manned indefinitely we are talking about 11 men per shift with two spares... a doctor/dentist and an assistant that would be on call... so effectively 11 men are required to run the ship at any one time... if they just sit and push buttons and get instructions from the captain or someone up the chain then their job could probably be automated... but the obvious question would be why has it not been automated already?

    If there is a leak for example it would be useful to have personel in each section that can be sent to deal with it... with three shifts of people on board that means 11 people are working keeping the sub operating normally, so there would be 11 men who are wide awake who can be sent to deal with problems, and a further 11 men who should be asleep but could be used if it is serious.

    An automated platform can probably blow ballast tanks and surface but that is about all.

    Don't get me wrong, I think unmanned vessels are a good idea and eventually larger vessels might be much more automated, but right now bigger ships are expensive... too expensive to be expendible... which is what unmanned platforms are good at.

    Obviously land based robotic vehicles can take the place of machine guns and possibly snipers and also an armoured platform you can put wounded into to take back to the rear for treatment, so a naval equivalent of that with subs and small boats would make similar sense, but I think manned bombers will remain manned bombers... instead of an unmanned bomber there is the cruise missile.... either stealthy or hypersonic to reach hard to reach targets.

    Yes. SSKs might have to work in tandem with large UUVs for a few years but then UUVs can certainly take over that role that is now being performed by SSKs. Here in the U.S we no longer operate SSKs.

    The US Navy has had a nuke sub only policy for decades... it has nothing at all to do with unmanned platforms... and it is something that bit the US Navy on the ass when they realised that newer SSKs are a much greater threat than they thought they were because on electric power they are much quieter than nuke powered subs. They try to invite countries with modern diesel electric subs to train with because they have nothing like it themselves and there are plenty of stories of foreign subs getting close enough for a kill against US carriers without being spotted... the US normally brushes this under the carpet and largely ignores that... but is that the best policy considering the Lada class SSKs have vastly more capable systems than the Kilos before them and they were rather capable subs too.

    UUVs can be deployed within the operating radii of maritime reconnaissance aircraft that can cue them into an attacking position.

    And that data communication will give away the location of both platforms making them vulnerable to attack.

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    Post  RTN on Mon May 11, 2020 12:45 am

    GarryB wrote:
    If there is a leak for example it would be useful to have personel in each section that can be sent to deal with it...
    So that's the only complexity associated with Unmanned Underwater Vehicles?

    GarryB wrote:but right now bigger ships are expensive... too expensive to be expendible... which is what unmanned platforms are good at.

    By Large Underwater Platforms I meant upcoming platforms like Lockheed's Orca. These are much smaller than SSKs like Kilo, Lada or Type 214. Take a look at this link...what do you think?

    http://www.hisutton.com/USN_XLUUV.html


    GarryB wrote:considering the Lada class SSKs have vastly more capable systems than the Kilos before them and they were rather capable subs too.
    The only additional tech on board the Lada will be the AIP. So, more capable I get it. But VASTLY? No new breakthrough tech designed for submarines anywhere in the world in the last 5 years.


    GarryB wrote:And that data communication will give away the location of both platforms making them vulnerable to attack.
    Such communication will be secure. Besides that's how SSKs operate too with aircraft.
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    Post  GarryB on Mon May 11, 2020 1:37 pm

    So that's the only complexity associated with Unmanned Underwater Vehicles?

    No.

    With a manned sub there is a captain and a crew who basically know what they are supposed to be doing and can receive orders and operate on their own most of the time.... sometimes they will transmit information about targets they might detect but not be in a position to engage, but generally they will patrol areas and look for threats and targets and in peace time pretend and practise to attack those targets, and in war time actually attack those targets.

    With an unmanned sub who commands it to do things? Some guy in a van in Moscow via satellite link? How does that guy know what is happening on that sub? Well of course he has video feeds... no he doesn't... aircraft have cameras... submarines have sonar... active and passive.

    How do the people controlling the under water unmanned vessel know what is happening?

    Constantly transmitting sonar information would give away the drones position all the time and make it rather easy to evade or avoid, but without constant positional and audio information the UUV could get caught in a current and dragged off course and sail into the sea bed...

    It is not like a plane... you can't just have a few cameras facing forward to pilot the thing and a camera in a ball turret that someone else can use to find targets, and satellite navigation constantly showing altitude and speed and location all the time... a sub is different.

    By Large Underwater Platforms I meant upcoming platforms like Lockheed's Orca.

    And by expensive I realise America doesn't care that it is broke and that the best solution is to spend even more money, but Russia is not interested in making its MIC companies rich and gives a damn about its own actual defence...

    UUVs just shifts the personnel to somewhere else... it doesn't reduce manning requirements at all really.

    These are much smaller than SSKs like Kilo, Lada or Type 214. Take a look at this link...what do you think?

    If you scroll to the bottom of the article you will see Russia has 4 similar systems plus Poseidon....


    The only additional tech on board the Lada will be the AIP. So, more capable I get it. But VASTLY? No new breakthrough tech designed for submarines anywhere in the world in the last 5 years.

    Lada is 500 tons lighter, has half the crew number, and is rather better armed than improved Kilo subs... I think Vastly counts... the Sonar array is substantially better... the sort of thing they normally fit to SSNs...

    Such communication will be secure. Besides that's how SSKs operate too with aircraft.

    It doesn't matter if it is secure... the Russians didn't need to crack the signal from Dudayevs cell phone... they just tracked his location and dropped a bomb on his head...

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    Post  RTN on Mon May 11, 2020 7:30 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    If you scroll to the bottom of the article you will see Russia has 4 similar systems plus Poseidon....
    Precisely! That means even the Russian Navy is now taking the concept of large UUVs seriously. Isn't it?

    UUVs that can work in concert with SSKs and SSNs as well as work independently.

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