Military Embedded Systems

Unmanned systems leveraging AI and ML tested by U.S. Navy Central Command


December 13, 2021

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

A Saildrone Explorer USV sails in the Gulf of Aqaba on Dec. 12, 2021, during exercise Digital Horizon. Photo: Cpl. DeAndre Dawkins.

U.S. NAVAL FORCES CENTRAL COMMAND, Gulf of Aqaba. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) is now operationally testing a new unmanned surface vessel (USV) in the Gulf of Aqaba (off the coast of Jordan) as part of a drive to integrate new unmanned systems and artificial intelligence (AI) into U.S. 5th Fleet operations.

NAVCENT launched Exercise "Digital Horizon" and placed a Saildrone Explorer USV into the water of the Red Sea for its initial voyage from the Royal Jordanian naval base in Aqaba, Jordan. The Saildrone Explorer is a 23-foot-long, 16-foot-tall USV that is propelled by wind power and uses a package of solar-powered sensors powered for building a complete picture of the surrounding seas.

Additionally, says Capt. Michael Brasseur, commander of NAVCENT’s new task force for unmanned systems and artificial intelligence, the Saildrone fleet leverages machine learning (ML) and AI as a wa to enhance maritime domain awareness, thereby extending the digital horizon with a sustainable, zero-carbon solution.


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