Here is a UAV that is already in use by the Navy. The ScanEagle, is so small it could operate routinely from the Webber Class WPCs.
Wing Span 10.25 ft (3.12m)
Length 6.5 ft (1.98m)
Max Take Off Weight 44-48.5 lb. (22 kg)
Max speed 80 knots
Cruise speed 50 knots
Ceiling 10,000 ft
Max endurance: 15 hours
In it’s “dual bay” configuration the sensor package can include a synthetic aperture imaging radar in addition to video. It can use standard diesel fuel, but it won’t use much since the engine is less than two horsepower.
It was reportedly used during the Maersk Alabama piracy incident in April 2009 (the first of three times pirates attempted to take the ship).
I think its worth a closer look, like perhaps a deployment on a 210.
A video of it in operation is here, including a launch and recovery from what looks like a fishing vessel less than 80 ft long.
Of course if this system becomes standard on the Webber class they will have to be reclassified as WCVL–Coast Guard Aircraft Carrier, Light. (Lee, thanks for the inspiration.)
Navy News Service – Eye on the Fleet