Drones are working so well for us in the air, why not have unmanned killing machines in the sea?
The Navy is testing the U.S. military's first armed robotic boat, the NUWC-4. It shoots missiles, and the Navy fired six of them in a test last month off the coast of Maryland.
The test's program manager, Mark Moses of Naval Special Warfare, told the Daily News:
It does show a great step forward in capabilities. It can be used in harbor defense … The system could also be used for engaging targets outside of normal cruiser weapon range.
Moses said if a ship like this were available in 2000, it could have foiled the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole:
Having an unmanned service vehicle out there that could have interceded before the bomb got as close as it did would have helped prevent that situation.
"NUWC" stands for Naval Undersea Warfare Center, one of several warfare centers that developed the boat.