One way to get to where the services want to go is through roadmaps. The relatively new Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for unmanned systems, Frank Kelley, said in his kickoff speech at Unmanned Systems Defense 2016 that his year-old office is working to set up a tactical roadmap for Navy unmanned systems, one that will become a living document and involve input from industry.
The Navy wants unmanned systems to be “the new normal,” Kelley said, adding, “I do think we are on that trajectory, I feel really good about it.”
The DASN was set up just over a year ago, just in time for Kelley to make his debut at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems Defense 2015. The goal: Tie all the unmanned systems stakeholders in the U.S. Navy together and synthesize their work.
Those stakeholders are making aggressive plans, Kelley said, including achieving dominance in the air and on and under the water, including by adding advanced autonomy and machine learning, which is “something we are constantly thinking of in the background. How much artificial intelligence are we willing to let these machines have as they operated with manned forces out in the operational fleet?”
Kelley didn’t say when the roadmap will be finished, but said he wants to get it out “for folks to read, because I think it will be important.”
It will be a living document prone to change, so there will be more workshops in the future, and will be open to industry involvement, which Kelley said is “absolutely critical.”