A Maryland-based company is trying to drum up interest in an armed unmanned watercraft, which resembles a killer Jet Ski drone, for potential military operations.
Neany Inc., based in California, Maryland, displayed its Dragon Spy watercraft this week at the Association of the United States Army's annual conference in Washington, D.C.
The autonomous vessel features a 7.62mm fully automatic weapon and sensors for such missions as target interception and neutralization, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, according to Alan Bedsworth, an aerospace engineer with the company.
Unlike an earlier version of the craft, the Dragon Spy now sports a gray camouflaged paint job.
Equipped with waypoint navigation, the craft can be linked with the company's Arrow unmanned aerial vehicle to increase its mission range to up to 100 nautical miles, Bedsworth said during an interview on Tuesday with Military.com. The version on display was a fully electric research and development prototype that could cruise at six knots for three hours, with a max speed of up to 10 knots, he said.
"With the hybrid version, it's a 30-gallon fuel tank running either on gas or diesel generator," he said. "That can run for much much longer. And if you ever need to run silently, you can shut the engine off and run exclusively on electric power."
Drawing just one and a half feet of water, the watercraft performs well in smaller tributaries, lakes and streams, Bedsworth said. With a larger propulsion system, it could handle rougher, faster-moving water, he said.
"What we did here is we were able to integrate all of the technology into this particular platform," he said. "Now that that's been done and that's been tested and proven, we can basically take the nervous system out of this vessel, and implement it into any number of different sizes, shapes and different platforms."