Gulf nations summon sea drones to curb illicit trafficking

A Man-Portable Tactical Autonomous Systems (MANTAS) T-12 unmanned surface vessel (USV) sails alongside Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF) Abdulrahman Al Fadhel in the Gulf waters during a joint naval exercise between US 5th Fleet Command and Bahraini forces, on Oct. 26, 2021. (Photo by Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images).

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — All Gulf Cooperation Council countries plan to expand the multinational fleet of unmanned surface vessels in the Middle East, possibly tripling their situational awareness in countering drug and arms trafficking, according to a top U.S. Navy commander in the region.

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