Navy Tests Software to Deter Swarm of Enemy Boats

Technology powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning to destroy a swarm of enemy boats? It’s not a far-fetched idea anymore, as the U.S. Navy is testing software that helps do just that.

Navy ships sometimes encountered swarms of enemy boats and the large vessels aren’t ideally equipped to deal with this type of threat. But a researcher with the Naval Surface Warfare Center in California has come up with a solution. The software SWARM-Tac takes sensor information on a Navy ship and synthesizes it into solutions for how to evade or demolish enemy boats.

"Some of our adversaries use lots of small boats to kind of harass our ships," Matt Ward said. "While we have a single, high-capability ship, they will have a lot of these small craft that may not have as [powerful] weapons, but just a significant number of them. What [we're] trying to do is use machine learning and artificial intelligence to generate tactics for the ship to maximize its probability of success against that type of an attack."

Although SWARM-Tac is still being developed, a test last year yielded "pretty good results," Ward said.

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