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Adm. Michael Gilday on Navy’s Unmanned Surface Vessel Program

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Adm. Michael Gilday
Adm. Michael Gilday

The fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directs the U.S. Navy to come up with a working prototype of a large unmanned surface vessel (LUSV) equipped with fully integrated and tested systems before procurement funds could be used for such vessels, Defense News reported Monday

Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, said he agreed with Congress that clear-cut and sound requirements for the LUSV program should be established upfront.

“The approach has to be deliberate,” Gilday told the publication. “We have to make sure that the systems that are on those unmanned systems with respect to the [hull, mechanical and electrical system], that they are designed to requirement, and perform to requirement. And most importantly, are those requirements sound?”

He said he urged the service to develop an “unmanned campaign plan” to establish a pathway for the development and deployment of unmanned systems across maritime and aerial domains.

“What I’ve found is that we didn’t necessarily have the rigor that’s required across a number of programs that would bring those together in a way that’s driven toward objectives with milestones,” Gilday said.