The US Navy last week unleashed its “Hell Hounds,” marking a significant leap into a future where robotic warships sail alongside manned vessels.

Unmanned Surface Vessel Squadron (USVRON) 3, the second of its kind, ushers in an era of drone warfare on the high seas.

This purpose-built unit will develop tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for integrating weaponized unmanned surface vessels (USVs) into the surface fleet.

From Prototype to Powerhouse: The Rise of Small USVs

USVRON 3 takes the baton from USVRON 1, focusing on medium and large USVs.

The “Hell Hounds” set their sights on smaller, more agile drones, perfect for a wider range of missions.

Their initial weapon of choice? The unassuming Global Autonomous Reconnaissance Craft (GARC), a 16-foot prototype bristling with potential.

“These aren’t your child’s remote-control boats,” says Vice Adm. Brendan McLane, Naval Surface Force commander. “Small USVs can be miniature weapons systems, packing a punch with sensors and future payloads.”

While the GARC is currently unarmed, its potential to carry various configurations of sensors and weapons makes it a versatile platform.