Unmanned Warrior: The Digital Ocean in Action


Unmanned Warrior: The Digital Ocean in Action

Dan Middleton — December 2, 2016

The British Royal Navy recently released an excellent video looking back at Unmanned Warrior 2016.

During the exercise, our team was laser-focused on the task at hand: with our partner Boeing, we successfully used a network of persistent SHARC Wave Gliders to detect, report and track a manned diesel submarine in a naval demonstration. It was a first, and it demonstrated without a doubt the practicality of using autonomous systems to provide real-time actionable intelligence.

But watching this video now, I’m struck by how the story of Unmanned Warrior is essentially the story of the Digital Ocean in action. It’s systems being networked together to provide a common operational picture; teams and technologies collaborating to achieve a common goal.

  • “There’s no one solution to anti-submarine warfare because of the variety of target platforms that are out there, the variety of environments that you end up working in. What unmanned systems can do is provide a modular approach, so that you can design your force package to really meet the challenge that you’re particularly facing at the time, as opposed to having one large fixed system that can’t adapt to the different environments that it finds itself in.”
    – Commander Gavin Coyle, Maritime Capability Anti-Submarine Warfare

And it’s happening years ahead of schedule:

  • “I have seen things here that I didn’t think were achievable at this stage. I thought that this technology would still be another two years away, but we’ve seen interoperability that was just unexpected.”
    – Commander Paul Hornsby, Royal Australian Navy

The Digital Ocean is possible today. And Unmanned Warrior is a great demonstration of what we can achieve when systems work together.