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Surface Navy 2024: US Navy highlights live-fire demonstration combining unmanned platforms

The US Navy combined a CUSV with a UAV for a recent live-fire targeting demonstration. (Textron Systems)

The US Navy (USN) recently combined different types of unmanned platforms for a successful live-fire demonstration, Captain Matthew Lehmann, programme manager for Littoral Combat Ship Mission Modules (LCS MM), noted on 10 January during a briefing at the Surface Navy Association (SNA) National Symposium 2024.

According to the USN's Unmanned and Small Combatants (USC) programme office, during a C4F Fleet Experimentation Program (FLEX) in the latter part of 2023, the LCS MM team conducted a live-fire demonstration of the Korean 2.75-inch Imaging Infrared Poniard Rocket in Key West, Florida.

This exercise demonstrated an unmanned kill-chain using an Aerosonde unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to provide targeting information and battle damage assessment, according to Capt Lehmann and the USC programme.

During this successful event, the Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) launched six Poniard rockets, achieving direct hits and mission kills against all targets, marking 10 consecutive hits with Poniard rockets from the CUSV.

The FLEX demonstration also used the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Burlington (T-EPF 10).

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