DefenseNews reports the Israeli company Elbit has been working on developing an unmanned surface vessel system, and they have gone beyond simply patrolling the surface and employing remotely controlled machine guns. They are attempting to use it for Anti-Submarine Warfare and mine countermeasures.
In a separate post, Navy recognition reports that this system has successfully test launched a light weight torpedo.
If you compare the vessel in the video and the one in the photo above, it is apparent that the equipment has been changed and that the craft probably could not carry both the sonar sensor and the light weight torpedoes, but it is possible multiple units might operate in groups.
Using small vessels for ASW and MCM has a long history, although not always particularly successful. As ASW assets they do offer the advantage that they are too small to be good targets for a submarine’s torpedoes. On the other hand their ability to support sensors and weapons is severely limited, and the crews’ limited ability to deal with adverse weather has always been problematic. Making them unmanned will at least help with that.
Thanks to Jim for suggesting the topic.