Corporal Frisk has an interesting discussion about unmanned autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence over on his blog. It is actually a report from the Finnish Naval Defense Day 2018, so there is a nice status summary of current projects in the Finnish Navy. But the most interesting bit for me was the discussion about unmanned technology in naval operations:
While drones currently are sub-systems rather than main systems, their revolutionary nature shouldn’t be underestimated. In the naval domain, getting a lightweight synthetic aperture radar up in the sky aboard a lightweight drone is suddenly a serious alternative to the traditional mast-mounted surface search radar, providing both over-the-horizon range and having the added benefit of letting the host vessel’s sensors remain silent. An interesting example is Israel who has retired manned maritime patrol aircraft and completely replaced them with remotely piloted ones.
These systems are approaching a price point where they are a realistic option for a country like Finland.