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31/10/23: U.S Navy Tests T-38 Devil Ray Unmanned Surface Vessel In The Middle East

The primary aim of the deployment is to offer support to large-scale operations by merging Unmanned Surface Vehicles (abbreviated USVs), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (abbreviated UAVs), Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (abbreviated UUVs), and Remotely Operated Vehicles (abbreviated ROVs).

Task Force 59 is reportedly a specialised unit in the US Navy that emphasises integrating advanced tech, including unmanned systems and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, to enhance maritime operations in the Middle East region.

Established back in 2021, it managed to reach optimum operational capability this year in January.

Task Force 59’s progress has been enabled by participation in international and bilateral maritime exercises as well as gaining precision operational experience.

Association with international military partners, like Bahrain, Israel, and Jordan, focus on USVs and AI, with high expectations of future expansion.

The near-future vision of Task Force 59 includes the notion of a “digital ocean” that involves the exceptional synthesis of data from different sources, including seabed sensors, buoys, satellites, and other types of technologies, to offer consistent maritime monitoring.

The Navy plans on establishing uncrewed task forces all over the world, precisely modelled after Task Force 59, to replicate its achievements.

The leadership opportunities are extended to the junior naval officers, especially surface warfare officers (abbreviated the SWOs), to build on the experience that’s been gained by the Task Force.

The T-38 is an Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) developed by the American firm Maritime Tactical Systems (abbreviated MARTAC).

In 2020 (July), MARTAC declared the launch of the MANTAS Medium Category Vessels, which includes the variants — MANTAS T24, which measures about 24 ft; T38, which measures 11m; and T50, which measures about 50 ft.

The T-38 USV will be able to cruise at 25 knots with a burst speed that goes up to 80 knots.

It boasts a weight of about 2,950 kg and a draft of about 18 inches.

The T38 will be able to carry a payload of about 2,050 kg.

Given the speed and carrying capacity, it is evident how capable it is to fulfil the logistics functions in any amphibious operation.

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