The attributes of unmanned platforms matter more than whether they are counted as battle-force ships, according to Vice Admiral Richard Brown, commander of the US Naval Surface Forces commander and Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet.
USN officials have been debating whether to count unmanned vessels as part of its 355-ship count or battle-force fleet. As it stands, service leaders believe that unmanned platforms should be counted separately.
"Should unmanned count as battle force?" Vice Adm Brown asked on 14 January during a presentation at the Navy Surface Association 2020 National Symposium. "I don't know the answer to that and from my perspective I don't care.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to Jane's unrivalled data and insight, learn more about our subscription options at janes.com/products