San Diego, California – The U.S. Navy (USN) recently conducted the highly anticipated Integrated Battle Problem 2023 (IBP-23) exercise, heralding a new era of advanced warfare techniques. This dynamic event showcased the Navy’s cutting-edge capabilities, with a particular focus on the integration of unmanned systems. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) and their game-changing MQ-9B Seaguardian® unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were spearheading this innovative approach.

Revolutionizing Modern Warfare

The IBP-23 exercise was a testament to the USN’s commitment to staying at the forefront of military technology. As part of this exercise, GA-ASI collaborated with the USN Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadrons (HSM) 38, 49, 71, and 75 to demonstrate the incredible potential of the MQ-9B Seaguardian. Additionally, these joint efforts showcased the effectiveness of Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) and Cooperative Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations, marking a significant milestone in the Navy’s pursuit of next-generation warfare capabilities.

Throughout the IBP-23 exercise, the USN’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from the HSM squadrons worked in tandem with the MQ-9B Seaguardian. Utilizing the latest advancements in MUM-T, their combined efforts facilitated unparalleled cooperation and coordination. For example, the MH-60R helicopters dropped sonobuoys to detect a mobile training target while the Seaguardian rapidly correlated and located the simulated submarine. This seamless integration allowed for the swift transmission of tactical reports (TACREPs) to the Commander, Task Force (CTF) 34 Theater ASW Center, enabling a well-coordinated and successful “kill” of the target using notional torpedoes dropped from the MH-60s.

Reinforcing Advantages in Modern Combat

Patrick Shortsleeve, GA-ASI’s Vice President of DoD Strategic Development, praised the advanced tactics, techniques, and procedures employed during the exercise. By leveraging MUM-T and capitalizing on the Seaguardian’s capabilities, the Navy significantly reduced risks to personnel while maximizing mission effectiveness. The successful implementation of these cutting-edge strategies further cements the advantages offered by unmanned aircraft systems, particularly in combat scenarios that demand precise situational awareness and swift response capabilities.

The IBP-23 exercise marked the third occasion that GA-ASI’s MQ-9B Seaguardian played an integral role in supporting this annual event. These exercises provide a fertile ground for refining and enhancing warfighting tactics, techniques, procedures, and command and control. The USN is better equipped to face evolving threats and challenges in modern warfare.
by continually adapting and optimizing their strategies, the USN is better equipped to face evolving threats and challenges in modern warfare.

Looking ahead, GA-ASI remains dedicated to pushing the boundaries of unmanned aircraft systems. The MQ-9B Seaguardian’s exceptional endurance, integrated systems, and advanced technologies have positioned it as a force multiplier for naval operations. As GA-ASI’s collaboration with regulatory authorities continues, the Seaguardian’s type-certifiable RPAS design and seamless integration into normal air traffic pave the way for broader utilization across various military and civil applications.