NavyRecognition reports that DARPA has tested a combination of two of their projects that we have previously discussed, the Active Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) and the Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS). This is a bit of departure for the ACTUV since it is designed to track submarines, but it might be applicable to counter drug operations in the Eastern Pacific.
“TALONS’ surface-track radar extended its range by 500 percent—six times—compared to its range at sea level. Its electro-optical/infrared scanner doubled its observed discrimination range. The TALONS team plugged in a commercial handheld omnidirectional radio; that radio’s range more than tripled.”
SOUTHCOM has been advocating using his area of operations as a testing ground. Perhaps DARPA would like to try this in the drug Transit Zone.
This is potentially high tech like our computers and cell phones, works better, cost less.
“TALONS is part of DARPA’s Phase 1 research for Tern, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR). Now that at-sea demonstration is complete, DARPA is transitioning TALONS to the Navy.”
Wonder if it might fit on the Webber class WPCs? They are larger than the ACTUV.
Here is the DARPA news release.
In the video you can see that there are a couple of people on the ACTUV facilitating the launch, so that was unmanned. But you can also see how small the platform is.
A 210 would probably make a great platform for a Coast Guard evaluation of TALONS. It might even fit on the fantail below the flight deck.
Another trial of distributed sensors that could be interesting for the USCG… this time for ASW/anti-drug warfare: containerized Captas 1 sonar.
This should be good out to the first convergence zone, well beyond the radar horizon. Might not pick up contacts on the surface because of thermal layering.
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DARPA is handing off the project to Office of Naval Research and it looks like they are buying two more ACTUV vessels to further the research into areas other than ASW. https://news.usni.org/2017/09/15/dsei-navy-poised-order-second-vessel-actuv-sea-hunter-test-program
Some thoughts on these. http://www.eaglespeak.us/2018/08/the-future-is-at-hand-actuv-and-navy-to.html
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