New AI-driven algorithm offers potential for unmanned surveillance vessels.
The government of Singapore has announced that it is testing unmanned surface vessels (USV) that run on a locally developed AI-driven navigational algorithm and says it intends to use the vessels to patrol its congested and strategically important waters.
Upon completion of trials, the Singaporean Navy will commission four of the vessels and the country’s defence minister said they will add “another layer of security” to Singapore’s maritime border. The new vessels will be able to maintain round-the-clock patrols and will free up the Navy’s larger vessels for more strategically important missions.
By using an advanced collision detection-and-avoidance system, the defence ministry says the USVs will be able to navigate busy waters and fulfil all International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. The algorithm that controls the USVs was developed by analysing maritime traffic in the Singapore Straits and through extensive lab testing.
Singapore has not yet announced the origin of the USV platform, but Janes has previously reported that Taiwan’s Lung The Shipyard may provide a 16.9-meter-long vessel that displaces 30 tons, has a top speed in excess of 25 knots and an endurance of 36 hours.