Summaries - Research
Back Analysis of a Lightly Manned Autonomous Combat Capability (LMAAC) Concept
|Division||Research & Sponsored Programs|
|Department||NPS Naval Research Program|
Gallup, Shelley P.
Trask, David M.
|Sponsor||NPS Naval Research Program (Navy)|
Multiple recent articles have highlighted the drifting maintenance availability schedules for surface ships and submarines. The primary cause of shifting Restricted Availabilities (RAVs) completions for scheduled maintenance is a stretched operational tempo (OPTEMPO) faced by the Fleet. Added to this is the strain imposed on crews in multiple dimensions (crew rotation, schools, family time), and a very dynamic global environment, producing systemic problems with symptoms such as collisions at sea and less than mission capable platforms. Indeed, the recent collisions indicate that there is a problem with humans on manned platforms understanding the complex systems that watch teams need to manage in order to operate safely, or in times of time-critical decision making. OPTEMPO induced deficiencies, and managing complexity are just a couple of symptoms pointing to a need to re-think Navy force structure. Prescriptions generally adjust the Fleet upward in the number of ships available to meet perceived near and far term global security demands, with a secondary effect of creating system slack that will enable better ship maintenance and personnel training. In keeping with the 3rd offset strategy of employing autonomy and AI, and the success of Sea Hunter in its collision avoidance capability have expanded the importance of mission capabilities for autonomous vessels. However trust in fully autonomous systems is far off, and CONOPS for employment need to be developed.
We propose here that an intermediate step towards implementation of autonomy first and AI second is the LMAAC. Other navies and industry are moving towards this direction now. A cost model for a concept hull, integration of autonomous systems, mission roles for autonomy and mission roles for greatly reduced crew will be provided in a technical report as well as a briefing of findings.
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