Over the past year, L3Harris has worked closely with its partners, most notably the U.S. Navy’s Combined Task Force 59 and the Surface Warfare Development Squadron (DEVRON), to exercise manned-unmanned teaming with the delivery and performance of autonomous surface vessels and their extending ISR and force protection capabilities. Task Force 59 is the first U.S. Navy task force of its kind, created to integrate unmanned maritime systems and artificial intelligence capabilities in the Navy’s 5th Fleet area of operation. L3Harris is also the prime contractor for the U.S. Navy’s first major contract award for ASVs, the Medium Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MUSV). This builds on previous commercial experience and work for the Strategic Capabilities Office. Internationally, L3Harris is also the vehicle and autonomy provider on the U.K.-France mine countermeasures program. These domestic and international efforts, in concert with our robust commercial experience, position L3Harris at the forefront of the ASV market. All of these successes are enabled by L3Harris' ASView autonomy, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver mission and situation awareness autonomy to the platform. The ASView™ control system enables unmanned operations or remote operations from a land-based control station to execute pre-programmed mission plans and real-time operations. This autonomy, combined with reliable and redundant systems, ensures vessels can continue to operate for months at sea without humans.
In addition to its ASV excellence, L3Harris has premier small to medium sized Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) with its Iver family of systems. Iver has commercial foundations but has really expanded its influence into environmental surveys, mine hunting and contested environment surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It has some amazing features, including the ability to easily integrate various sensor packages depending on the mission and switching between energy chemistries so the operator can dial up or dial down the endurance of the vehicle. Ivers, similar to ASVs, reduce risk to human life, improve operational flexibility, increase capacity, and improve data in terms of timeliness, quality and volume across a range of applications at a reduced cost. These systems “take the human out of the battlefield” and provide additional stand-off distance for manned platforms.
L3Harris sees an opportunity for manned-unmanned teaming, using manned and unmanned platforms in roles they are most suited for to execute missions and solve problems collaboratively. This concept is going away from a more traditional view of manned in one area and unmanned in another to look at how to make a more effective team. Platform autonomy plays a vital role in the future operations of manned-unmanned teaming, but the true benefit stems from the mission packages it holds, and the autonomous coordination between the various payloads, the distributed platforms and the manned assets giving the orders or commands.