ONR invites proposals for swarming unmanned amphibians


Key Points

  • ONR is co-ordinating a science and technology effort intended to provide the US amphibious community with more small autonomous vehicles
  • Funding of USD41 million is anticipated over five years and the first study contracts will be awarded in September 2017

Amphibious assaults could be led in the future by swarms of small unmanned vehicles able to operate on the sea surface and land, according to a concept development strategy unveiled by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR).

AAVs will have to operate in a variety of shoreline environments, such as a US Marine Corps training area on Hawaii, and collaborate with manned and unmanned platforms. (US Marine Corps)AAVs will have to operate in a variety of shoreline environments, such as a US Marine Corps training area on Hawaii, and collaborate with manned and unmanned platforms. (US Marine Corps)

In a call for innovative science and technology proposals, ONR suggested that up to 100 low-cost autonomous amphibious vehicles (AAVs) could be deployed “as the first wave into contested landing zones to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance, clear mines, and secure terrain to allow follow-on forces to safely move ashore”.

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