Firm Displays ‘Dragon Spy’ Killer Jet Ski Drone

Caption: Neany Inc.'s Dragon Spy watercraft on display Oct. 13, 2015, at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C. (Photo by John Napolitano for Military.com)Caption: Neany Inc.'s Dragon Spy watercraft on display Oct. 13, 2015, at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C. (Photo by John Napolitano for Military.com)

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 shown in photograph above, the Dragon Spy now sports a gray camouflaged paint job, as shown in the image below.

Caption: Neany Inc.'s Dragon Spy watercraft on display Oct. 13, 2015, at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C. (Photo by John Napolitano for Military.com)

Caption: Neany Inc.’s Dragon Spy watercraft on display Oct. 13, 2015, at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C. (Photo by John Napolitano for Military.com)

 

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.”

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Fatman

    A swarm of these would be an amazing tool for any vessel.

  • Lance

    Last ting we need less men more unreliable drones!

  • Anonymous

    I think its narrow utility and scope of operations would make it too cost-inefficient to operate them

  • Dfens

    Wow, 10 knots. Break out the water ski’s.

  • nmi

    Mount some of those new mini-missiles that Raytheon recently developed and this could be even deadlier!

  • howard

    why not a more difficult to detect autonomous sub?
    same end game
    less visibility

    • t1oracle

      I imagine a swarm of subs spontaneously surfacing around some drug smuggler boat armed with those guns. Game over.

  • mhpr262

    Is the gun gyro-stabilised? If not, good luck with hitting anything smaller than the side of a barn at ten yards from such a small and light vessel floating on choppy water.

    • anomyous coward

      gyro stabilizers are becoming cheaper by the dozen. They can have mechanical gyros to keep the recoil down on the gun or MEMS (or laser-ring) gyros to stabilize the entire platform electronically. At this point its a matter of smarts. Since the sensor package is small enough for a smart phone… I don’t see why it wouldn’t be able to be done.
      -ac

      • xXTomcatXx

        There’s a difference between having sensors to understand orientation in space and having stabilizing systems to correct for the movement. The latter is heavy, expensive, and power intensive. Not to mention that the sensors needed to stabilize a gun require far more accuracy than standard COTS gyros provide.

        • mike e

          If you’re running the gun in semi-auto mode, might not need physical stabilization if the local computer is good enough - ‘just’ time your shots to the right point in a bounce. Human unassisted couldn’t do it, but a computer, maybe.

  • stephen russell

    Uses for:
    Harbor security
    Maritime patrols with heavier weapons
    Fireboat for harbor fires.
    Beach patrol (minus gun).
    Sub patrol with sonar & mini ASROCs.
    Customs US use
    Riverine patrols: Rio Grande TX & Mexico
    Yacht security IE Monaco, EU

    • Charles

      You forgot: protecting the Littoral Combat Ship!

  • say NO to PUTIN

    Hmmm… Intriguing! I can only imagine how well these will work.

  • robert crawford

    Looks bad…so bad…it must be good.

  • EARTHSMYTHE

    As is with anything , the equipment being used is as good as the operator trained to use it . In its proper setting, this unit could be very useful, especially as a data collecting ‘scout’ for mapping , etc, and possible delivery of other autonomous remote robotic systems to deliver explosives onto land by stealth .