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U.S. Navy’s Latest Unmanned Surface Ships Call In Japan

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Sep 19, 2023, 1:21:07 PM9/19/23
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USV Mariner pulling into Yokosuka, Japan. Picture by モリジュン (Twitter
user: @HNlEHupY4Nr6hRM)
U.S. Navy’s Latest Unmanned Surface Ships Call In Japan
U.S. Navy's latest drone boats, USV (unmanned surface vessel) Mariner
and LUSV (large unmanned surface vessel) Ranger, made a port call at
Yokosuka of Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan on August 18, a very rare
opportunity to see them in Japan, including Sasebo in western Japan.
Kosuke Takahashi 18 Sep 2023

Mariner has a dark blue exterior on the lower half of the hull, and
Ranger has a gray hull.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet, headquartered in Hawaii, began its second
multi-domain unmanned capabilities exercise May 1, 2023. The Fleet’s
exercise, called Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP)
23.1, is a tactical warfighting rehearsal event conducted by U.S. 3rd
Fleet headquartered in San Diego, California to test and develop
fleet-centric concepts and capabilities, according to the U.S. Navy.

LUSV Ranger Yokosuka
LUSV Ranger pulling into Yokosuka, Japan. Picture by モリジュン (Twitter
user: @HNlEHupY4Nr6hRM)
In mid-August, four U.S. Navy unmanned surface fleets, Mariner, Ranger,
Sea Hunter, and Seahawk, were seen heading to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.


The U.S. Navy’s USVs are part of Ghost Fleet Overlord, a prototyping
program launched in 2018 to integrate multi-mission unmanned vessels
into the fleet. Its sister ships, Ranger and Mariner, were also
commissioned by the U.S. Navy as part of a Department of Defense project
to bring autonomous navigation technology to maritime vessels.

The two vessels were developed in collaboration between the US defense
technology company Leidos and the US shipyard Gulf Craft.

US Navy USV Mariner
USV Mariner pulling into Yokosuka, Japan. Picture by モリジュン (Twitter
user: @HNlEHupY4Nr6hRM)
Two sister vessels measure 193 feet (59 meters) long and 32 feet (10
meters) wide. It maintains cargo carrying capacity of two 20-foot
containers and four 40-foot containers, but the containers are often
equipped with additional systems and sensors essential to the vessel’s
operation. It is equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Aegis combat system and
can link with other Aegis ships in the fleet. So far, it has conducted
test firings of the SM-6 interceptor missile.

According to a Baird Maritime report published on November 30, 2022,
both Mariner and Ranger utilize a design that was originally developed
for fast crew transfer and supply duties in support of clients in the
offshore oil and gas industry. Modifications on each boat include the
addition of satellite communications, three radars of different bands,
electro-optical and infrared sensors, and radios.

Yokosuka, the home port of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, is bustling with
activity on September 18. Besides Mariner and Ranger, the
Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Oakland (LCS 24)
also made a rate port call at Yokosuka.

These ships’ visit to Yokosuka may be aimed at showcasing American
defense co-operation with Japan.

TAGS Japan US Navy USV
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AUTHORS

Posted by : Kosuke Takahashi
Kosuke Takahashi is a defense writer based in Japan. Takahashi has
written for Janes Defence Weekly, Jane’s Navy International and Monch
Publishing. Takahashi is former editor-in-chief of HuffPost Japan and a
former staff writer at The Asahi Shimbun and Bloomberg. Takahashi
graduated from Keio University with a B.A. in economics in 1993. After
working for The Asahi Shimbun and Dow Jones, he studied at Columbia
University’s Journalism School and School of International and Public
Affairs (SIPA), and graduated with Master of Science in Journalism and
Master of International Affairs in 2004. Prior to joining the Asahi as a
reporter in 1993, he worked for Baltimore Economic Development
Corporation as an exchange trainee to a sister city program of Kawasaki
City, and researched trade issues between the United States and Japan.
He was awarded an Honorary citizenship of Baltimore for his work in 1988.







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