Royal Jordanian and US Navies Partner on New Unmanned Systems Integration
Royal Jordanian and US Navies Partner on New Unmanned Systems Integration

Royal Jordanian and US Navies Partner on New Unmanned Systems Integration

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) briefed the head of Jordan’s navy on U.S. 5th Fleet efforts to integrate new unmanned systems during a visit to U.S. Naval Support Activity Bahrain, November 18. Personnel from NAVCENT’s Task Force 59 briefed Col. Hisham Khaleel Aljarrah, commander of the Royal Jordanian Naval Force, alongside Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces on the task force’s new Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel (USV). The visit signaled U.S. 5th Fleet’s commitment to partnering with Jordan after establishing the new unmanned task force in September to focus U.S. 5th Fleet efforts on unmanned systems and artificial intelligence integration. The Royal Jordanian naval base in Aqaba, Jordan will become a joint hub for Saildrone USV operations in the Red Sea next month. The United States and Jordan share a strong bilateral partnership in maintaining regional maritime security and stability.

“This is a major step in our effort to integrate new unmanned systems with our regional partners,” said Cooper. “Our strong partnership with Jordan will help accelerate new system development and integration to enhance maritime domain awareness and strengthen deterrence.”

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin speaks to U.S. Navy personnel about the Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel, attached to Task Force (TF) 59, at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Nov. 21.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin speaks to U.S. Navy personnel about the Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel, attached to Task Force (TF) 59, at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Nov. 21. TF 59 is the first U.S. Navy task force of its kind, designed to rapidly integrate unmanned systems and artificial intelligence with maritime operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Thomas Mahmod)

“We are working harder and smarter to achieve maritime security, in all domains – surface, subsurface, and over the sea,” said Hisham. “The Red Sea will witness a significant increase in monitoring and power projection to maintain stability and security within international waters”

The Saildrone Explorer is a 23-foot-long, 16-foot-tall USV reliant on wind power for propulsion. The vessel houses a package of sensors powered through solar energy for monitoring the maritime environment. Saildrone uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) are the most capable, proven, and trusted platforms available for the collection of high-quality ocean data for a wide variety of applications. The maritime security variants of the vehicles also include an advanced acoustic and camera system that, combined with proprietary onboard machine learning algorithm, fuses sensor data to deliver significantly expanded information and decision advantage 24/7. The Middle East region’s unique geography, climate, and strategic importance offer an ideal environment for unmanned innovation through multilateral collaboration. The area includes the world’s largest standing maritime partnership, Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Royal Jordanian and US Navies Partner on New Unmanned Systems Integration
Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, left, and Col. Hisham Khaleel Aljarrah, commander of the Royal Jordanian Naval Force, examine Task Force 59’s new Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, Nov. 18. The visit signaled U.S. 5th Fleet’s commitment to partnering with Jordan after establishing the new unmanned task force in September 2021. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Thomas Mahmod).
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