This week, the Navy announced that the MK18 Mod 2 Kingfish underwater unmanned vehicle has been deployed for operations in the 5th Fleet area, a region covering about 2.5 million square miles of water area, which includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, and parts of the Indian Ocean.
The Kingfish is a next generation defense system used by the Navy for mine detection missions, replacing the current Swordfish system.
Here, engineers secure a Kingfish to the deck of a rigid hull inflatable boat. The Kingfish uses side scan sonar to search and discover objects of interest.
Obstacles to the proliferation of technology like this -- primarily communications and energy -- are being overcome quickly, and the Navy believes that in the next few years we'll likely see swarms of combat-ready undersea drones, the next wave of autonomous robotics.
June 29, 2013 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Blake Midnight