Drone warfare heads under the seas as U.S. seeks advantage over rivals
Despite the immense difficulties, the Navy has been testing and fielding several new systems designed to map the ocean floor, seek out mines, search for submarines and even launch attacks. While the unmanned crafts are now able to stay out for days or weeks, the goal is to create an underwater network of service stations that would allow the vehicles to do their jobs for months — and eventually years.
Military officials say there is a sense of urgency because the undersea domain, while often overlooked, could one day be as contested as the surface of the sea, the skies — and even space.
[...] In 2015, the Navy appointed its first deputy assistant secretary for unmanned systems. And the Pentagon plans to invest as much as $3 billion in undersea systems in the coming years.