UUVs, Unmanned Undersea Vehicles maximize ISR observation capabilities, expands communications networks, conducts hazardous underwater tasks, minimizes risk – as well as their deployable numbers. China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is confidently resting on its recent advancements in artillery, anti-ship weapons, mines, and missiles as a means to overwhelm and deter American and Allied interest and sovereignty in the Pacific. The UUV is an asset which can assist in the mitigation of the PLAN risks as an integrated force enabler with joint-defense systems [featured image].
UUVs are set to be part of U.S. defense strategy and will assist in filling the U.S. submarine gap, against China and Russia. On the forecast of UUV, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, in the Submitted Statement — House Armed Services Committee (FY 2017 Budget Request), stated: “It increases funding for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs) by over $100 million in FY 2017, part of a total $173 million in FY 2017 and $1.2 billion over the FYDP that invests in, among other areas, rapid prototyping of UUVs in multiple sizes and diverse payloads – which is important, since UUVs can operate in shallow waters where manned submarines cannot. And it includes $2.2 billion in FY 2017 and $6.4 billion over the FYDP to continue procuring the advanced P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft. Together, all these investments – totaling $8.2 billion in FY 2017, and $41.9 billion over the next five years – will ensure we continue to have the most lethal undersea and anti-submarine force in the world.”
As it watches China build up its presence in the South China Sea, one reclaimed island at a time, the US military is betting on a new technology to help retain its edge — submarine drones.