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U.S. Navy and Jordan Partner on New Unmanned Systems Integration

U.S. Navy and Jordan Partner on New Unmanned Systems Integration

During a visit to U.S. Naval Support Activity, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) briefed Jordan’s navy chief on U.S. 5th Fleet plans to incorporate modern unmanned technologies. According to a press release from the U.S. Navy, the meeting took place on November 18 in Bahrain.

NAVCENT Task Force 59 personnel briefed Col. Hisham Khaleel Aljarrah, commander of the Royal Jordanian Naval Force, and Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, head of the United States Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, on the task force’s new Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface craft (USV).

After forming a new unmanned task force in September to focus U.S. 5th Fleet efforts on unmanned systems and artificial intelligence integration, the visit signalled the U.S. 5th Fleet’s commitment to collaborating with Jordan.

Next month, the Royal Jordanian naval facility in Aqaba, Jordan, will serve as a shared centre for Saildrone USV operations in the Red Sea. To ensure regional maritime security and stability, the United States and Jordan have formed a strong bilateral collaboration.

“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.”

The Saildrone Explorer is a 23-foot-long, 16-foot-tall USV that is propelled by the wind. The vessel has a suite of sensors fueled by solar energy and used to monitor the marine environment.

“We’re working harder and smarter to accomplish marine security across all domains — surface, below, and above the sea,” Hisham added. “There will be a major increase in monitoring and power projection in the Red Sea to ensure peace and security inside international seas.”