Innovative Naval Prototypes

Innovative Naval Prototypes (INPs) push the boundaries of our nation’s technical talent to deliver transformational warfighting capabilities to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. INPs reduce the acquisition risk of disruptive technologies and capabilities.

INPs explore high 6.2 and 6.3 technologies that can dramatically change the way naval forces fight. Programs in this category may be disruptive technologies which, for reasons of high risk or radical departure from established requirements and concepts of operation, are unlikely to survive without top leadership endorsement, and, unlike Future Naval Capabilities, are initially too high risk for a firm transition commitment from the acquisition community. INPs should be identified based on a balanced combination of naval need and technology exploitation. Investments should be planned with the critical mass needed to achieve a level of technology maturity suitable for transition in four to eight years.

Current INPs

  • Autonomous Aerical Cargo/Utility System (AACUS): This INP program explores advanced autonomous capabilities for reliable resupply/retrograde and, in the long term, casualty evacuation by an unmanned air vehicle under adverse conditions. Key features of AACUS include a vehicle autonomously avoiding obstacles while finding and landing at an unprepared landing site in dynamic conditions, with goal-directed supervisory control by a field operator with no special training.
  • Electromagnetic Railgun (EMRG): The EMRG is a revolutionary long-range naval gun that will fire precision-guided hypervelocity projectiles to ranges greater than 200 nautical miles. Rather than gunpowder and rocket motors, the railgun will use electrical power to propel the projectiles. Its delivery of persistent, time-critical precision strikes without the use of propellants or explosive warheads will revolutionize warfighting capabilities from the sea.
  • Free Electron Laser (FEL): ONR is exploring the development of a laser capable of operating in a maritime environment and consistent with the Navy's planned all-electric ship. The high average power infrared FEL provides intense beams of laser light that can be tuned to atmosphere-penetrating wavelengths.
  • Integrated Topside (InTop): The InTop program provides an integrated, multi-function, multi-beam top-side aperture construct that has modular open radio frequency (RF) architecture, software defined functionality, synchronization and optimization of RF functions for mission support electromagnetic interface mitigation.
  • Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV): The LDUUV program will develop fully autonomous, long-endurance, land-launched unmanned undersea vehicles capable of operating near shore. It will extend and augment the current Navy platform capability. The LDUUV program will develop new air independent energy systems and core vehicle technologies to extend unmanned undersea vehicles endurance into months of operation time. Advanced autonomy and sensing will enable operation in the cluttered littoral environment. 
  • Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance (PLUS): The PLUS program provides effective, adaptive and persistent undersea surveillance of multiple quiet targets over large littoral areas.
  • Sea Base Enablers: The Transformable Craft (T-Craft) – one example of a Sea Base Enabler – is a vessel which can operate in multiple modes. It can self-deploy from an intermediate support base to the sea base and then be used as a high-speed connector from the sea base to the shore. It can transport wheeled and tracked vehicles and other heavy cargo through the surf zone and onto the beach, where it can discharge its cargo without the need for a port.
  • Tactical Satellite (TACSAT): With the TACSAT, ONR is issuing in a new era of small, responsive and flexible satellites. The TACSAT program will demonstrate communication relay, electronic intelligence and maritime domain awareness capabilities – all of which will enable tactical radios to communicate theatre-wide and facilitate effective command and control of distributed assets.

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