The United States Navy is moving ahead with plans to arm up its sailors with new weapons and sensors to protect their online and offline lives from cyberattacks.
The new system, codenamed “Pivot,” will be deployed in the Navy’s elite SEALs and Special Warfare Teams, and the program is designed to give them a fighting edge in a world increasingly disrupted by cyberattacks and cyberthreats.
“Our goal is to be able to respond quickly and decisively to cyberthreat, cybercriminal and cybercriminal activity,” Rear Adm.
Joseph D. Walsh, the Navy commander, said at a Defense Department briefing.
He said the Navy will begin arming its sailors in the coming weeks.
He did not give any specific details on the type of weapons, including some of the more controversial weapons the Navy is considering including “smart” and “killer” drones, and an advanced weapon called a “tactical missile.”
But he said the system will provide “a greater level of protection to our sailors and Marines in an increasingly hostile world.”
It will also provide a better way for them to communicate with one another and be able “to better understand what the threat is,” he said.
Under the plan, the guns will be equipped with sensors that will track the movement of objects in the environment.
The sensors will track where an object is moving in real-time and can track what the object is doing to try to identify potential threats, said Rear Admi.
Joe K. DeSantis, a Navy spokesman, told The Washington Times that the weapons will also be able detect “high-threat threats,” such as cruise missiles, cruise missiles that can fly at high speeds, and aircraft that are capable of high-speed attacks.
The weapons will be able also be used “against potential adversaries, including nation-states, foreign actors and other potential threats.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to provide these services in a way that we can quickly respond to cyberattacks,” Walsh said.
He noted that the program will have a cost of more than $1.4 billion and will be fully operational in 2021.
In the Navy, the new program will include about 30 officers, about half of whom will be on the Navy SEALs.
The first-in-the-class weapons will include “smart weapons,” including radar, a thermal imaging sensor, and a laser, and “smart munitions,” including a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle, a remote-controlled robot, and lasers, radar and other sensors.
The program will be a pilot program and not part of the Navy “current operational strategy,” Walsh told reporters at the briefing.
But the Navy already has fielded the program, called “Project Shield,” in recent years.
That program, which is still in development, has been used to provide military protection against a range of threats including ballistic missiles, ballistic missile submarines and land-based missiles, as well as “cyber” threats, such as spear-phishing and “malware.”
It is the Navy program that is the focus of the Pentagon’s new cybersecurity plan, which also calls for a more robust cyberattack response and more targeted responses against other threats, including “cyberespionage, denial of service, and other malicious activity.”
The Navy has been working with cybersecurity firms and private companies on the program.
In addition to the weapons and drones, Walsh said, the program includes a range, “smart gear” that includes a computer and mobile phones, and more sensors and sensors.
Under that plan, some of those sensors will be fitted with cameras and sensors that track objects in space.
The Navy said in a statement that it has begun testing the sensors and that the new weapons “will allow our sailors to be a little more aware of what is happening in their environment and to help them better protect themselves.”
“The capability of these new sensors will allow our officers to better anticipate and respond to threats on their battlefield, but also provide them with additional capabilities that can assist them in defending themselves,” the statement said.
The service is also planning to buy some new drones to be used for surveillance.
The drones, called Littoral Combat Ships, will be the first of their kind.
The Littorals, or “little boats,” will carry a wide variety of sensors that could include “head-mounted displays” for weapons and other intelligence, such a radar or a laser.
And they will also carry the “smart bomb,” a weapon that can destroy “smart targets” and will also include sensors that can track objects.
“The Littors will allow us to better defend our troops in real time, by providing us with the capabilities and capacity to respond faster, and to better prepare our forces for the many cyberattacks that are currently occurring in the future,” Walsh added.
The Defense Department said in May that the number of cyberattacks had increased by nearly 50 percent