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As the Navy continues to experiment with and develop its burgeoning drone fleet in the Middle East, monitored by the US Fifth Fleet, an unmanned surface vessel fired missiles for the first time there last month during an exercise.

Surface Drone
Image Credit: Posted on X by U.S. Navy

According to the Navy, the fire of a Lethal Miniature Missile Aerial Missile System via a MARTAC T38 Devil Ray drone occurred on Oct. 23 in the Digital Talon exercise on the waters surrounding the Arabian Peninsula.

Task Force 59, focused on unmanned and AI technology, oversaw the drill.

Per the Navy, the drones collaborated with manned vessels during the exercise to detect fake enemy boats and fire missiles, which destroyed the targets.

While the Devil Ray’s missile launch was significant, the decision to engage was still taken by a human operator on shore.

In recent years, the Middle East has grown into a testing ground for the Navy’s drone systems, with reasonably calm and steady waters providing a perfect environment for such concepts.

The Navy’s top brass stated earlier this year that they plan on deploying a manned-unmanned hybrid force within the next decade.

Before the Digital Talon exercise, Navy aerial, underwater, and surface drones helped follow Iranian Navy and Revolutionary Guard Corps ships for many days in and near the Strait of Hormuz, according to the Navy.

References: Ground News

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