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NATO's Maritime Unmanned Systems Exercise


Integrating Maritime Unmanned Systems into Maritime Operations 


Maritime unmanned systems (MUS) have been recently defined by the NATO MUS initiative (MUSI) as "all unmanned systems able to support maritime operations". From this definition, we can easily understand the multi-domain and joint nature of the use and exploitation of such systems.

MUS are powerful force multipliers, with standalone, stand off and persistent reach. They can be operated from sea or ashore and can deliver or contribute to many different effects, either they are to expand our maritime situational awareness and to increase its autonomy, increasing resilience to cyber and to electronic warfare.

In all of this, autonomy – which means preserving one's freedom to manoeuvre without being embroiled in the fight and saving lives – will be an underpinning factor.

Bearing in mind the potential impact of these new technologies on the operations, MARCOM designed exercise called DYNAMIC MESSENGER. Its second iteration scheduled for 18th to 29th September 2023 in Tróia and Sesimbra, off coast of Portugal, in order to promote the development and integration of MUS capabilities in support to Maritime Operations.

Dynamic Messenger is an operational experimentation exercise, led by Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) and coordinated with several stakeholders.

Allied Command Transformation as the strategic command responsible to foster NATO transformation is Co-leading the organization and development of Dynamic Messenger with MARCOM. This does emphasizes on MARCOM's responsibilities to the NATO maritime enterprise as an advocate on the development of new capabilities in support of maritime operations and activities.

Other key stakeholders for this endeavour are, the NATO International Staff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the Maritime Unmanned Systems Initiative (MUSI), the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) and nations (including their respective Industry and Academia), with special mention to Portugal as host nation.

The aim of Dynamic Messenger is to promote operational integration of MUS into NATO operations in an effort to bring together the NATO operational community, the Industry and the Academia.

Dynamic Messenger is designed as an annual LlVEX to test, exercise and experiment the use of all unmanned systems able to support maritime operations. It's main focus on doctrine, training and interoperability is complementary to the efforts of the exercise REP(MUS) focusing on technology development. Both exercises are organized and planned back-to-back, sequentially, in the same exercise areas around the Maritime Experimentation Operations Centre (MEOC), in Portugal.

Factsheet DYMS23


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