The US Navy had high expectations of Exercise Pacific Fleet Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem 21, or UxS IBP, which was the first full-scale experiment in the use of drones and manned ships and planes in the naval field. We now know more about the nature of the exercises that were carried out, and the results, apparently very promising, obtained in various fields ranging from anti-ship missile firing beyond the horizon to deployment. from a swarm of anti-ship drones, to a submarine hunting simulation. The results obtained will allow Admiral Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations of the US Navy, to refine the document which will serve as the basis for the American naval industrial strategy for the next two decades, and which must be presented to the President and then to Congress in 2022.
The first success obtained during UxS IBP is also the one that offers the greatest potential for short-term applicability. It was, no more and no less, than to detect, identify, locate and engage a naval surface target using only passive means carried by drones and piloted systems, so as to conduct a fire beyond the horizon of an SM6 multipurpose missile and destroy the target. Located and identified by a satellite, the target was subsequently tracked, its heading and speed calculated by passive electronic detection means carried by drones, before the data was passed to the destroyer USS John Finn who proceeded to an SM6 missile firing across the horizon to destroy it. This chain of detection and decision made it possible to validate the interoperability of the systems in order to engage naval targets passively, therefore with very little chance of the target noticing it, and with firing beyond the limit. 'horizon therefore without the possibility of retaliation.
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