On February 20, U.S. Naval Central Command (NAVCENT) and the United Arab Emirates Navy concluded a week-long integrated unmanned systems and artificial intelligence exercise in the Arabian Gulf.
Five Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs) from Task Force 59 of the UAE Navy and NAVCENT are operating off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Cameras and sensors on the USV capture images and video of ships sailing nearby. The visuals are then transmitted to an operations center onshore, where an artificial intelligence platform helps detect, identify and classify the data.
“This exercise allowed us to further train our AI platform to classify new data sets, which will ultimately enhance our detection capabilities,” said Lt. Jay Faylo, Task Force 59’s lead exercise planner. “Doing this with our UAE partners who are at the forefront of technology in the region is a huge opportunity.”
NAVCENT established Task Force 59 in September 2021 to integrate new unmanned systems and artificial intelligence into U.S. naval operations in the Middle East. This is the force’s first bilateral exercise with the United Arab Emirates.
Participating USVs from Task Force 59 included L3 Harris Arabian Fox MAST-13, Ocean Aero Triton, and two Saildrone Explorers.
Since its inception, Task Force 59 has operated a new set of unmanned systems from operations centers in Bahrain and Aqaba, Jordan. The unique geography, climate, and strategic importance of the Middle East provide an ideal environment for unmanned innovation.
The combat area of the US Fifth Fleet includes 21 countries, the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea, part of the Indian Ocean, and three important throats, the Strait of Hormuz, the Mandeb Strait and the Suez Canal.