The US Navy launches new programs to counter China

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

Il Battle Strength 2045, produced by the Office of the Secretary of Defense of the United States, announces that in the year 2045 the US Navy will have a force of 500 naval units.

The novelty is that of these, about 200, will be USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) and UUV (Unmanned Underwater Vehicle).

To date, the US Navy plans to bring 4 different types of USVs online: the LUSV (Large Unmanned Surface Vessel), which will have to conduct ASuW, ASW, EW and ISR missions; the MUSV (Medium Unmanned Surface Vessel) whose main tasks will concern the armed escort and ASW missions; the VSUSV (Very Small Unmanned Surface Vehicle), also used for armed escort and ISR tasks.

According to the doctrine of the Navy, for the LUSV the role of arsenal ships (networked to other naval units), or as vectors for weapon systems stand off.

The fact that these vehicles would be connected to other platforms would make it possible not to equip them with electronic devices for target acquisition, thus increasing the space on board to carry a greater number of armaments.

The LUSVs are expected to have a displacement of about 2.000 t, with an overall length of 100 meters, and be equipped with Mk-41 vertical cells (VLS) and could therefore launch the missile cruise stealth LRASM (Long Range Anti-Ship Missile).

As for the MUSVs, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has built a 40-meter trimaran for ASW operations, the Sea Hunter (photo), launched in 2016.

In 2018, this unit moved, autonomously, from San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands, and then returned to the Navy's Californian base, after having traveled over 5.000 miles.

Il Sea Hunter it has a trimaran configuration, with a central main hull and two small lateral ones, has a displacement at full load of 145 t and a maximum speed of 27 knots (10.000 miles of autonomy).

In the underwater sector, the US Navy, in 2019, gave a mandate to Boeing for the construction of 5 prototypes, based on the demonstrator Travel.

The latter has a displacement of 50 t and a length of 15 meters, can descend to a depth of 3.000 meters, with a speed of 8 knots (6.500 miles of range). The vehicle is completely independent from the mother ship, has both internal and external payloads, as well as the ability to perform a wide range of missions.

The purpose of the US Navy is to have a significant number of unmenned units operational, in the shortest time possible. In a possible confrontation with China, probably in the South China Sea, these vehicles will have the task of violating the bubbles A2 / AD, thus creating a "corridor" in order to allow the main forces to pass through.

Photo: US Navy