Autonomous Vehicle Systems: Implications for Maritime Operations, Warfare Capabilities, and Command and Control   [open pdf - 470KB]

"Military operations within the last decade have seen enormous growth in the fielding and utilization of unmanned tele-operated vehicles in the air, ground, and maritime domains. With advances in computing and processing technology, these vehicles and systems are becoming increasingly autonomous in nature and will continue to evolve in the future, significantly impacting the warfighter and the battlespace. A great deal of research and development (R&D) is currently underway by the Department of Defense (DoD), as well as in industry and academia, in the field of autonomous systems. As the technology in this area rapidly advances, comparatively little is known about how these systems will affect our future organizational and Command and Control (C2) architectures, or their implications for the future of warfare in general. This thesis catalogues the current and emerging technologies associated with these systems, within the context of the capabilities they bring to the warfighter. From this baseline, an analysis of future capabilities is conducted against selected maritime operations as identified in the Navy Tactical Task List (NTTL). Impact to organizational performance is analyzed using the Congruence Model, and possible implications are drawn about the near-term future of naval operations and organizational change."

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