The Navy's new $440-million Littoral Combat Ship needs some help taking care of itself. The LCS is said to be vulnerable to incoming strikes, meaning it might not survive a shootout with, say, China. Thankfully the ship may get two new life-saving escorts. First, DARPA wants to boost the Independence-class LCS drone capability to host a 27-foot wingspan Predator-like UAV. Previously it could only launch and receive a modest tactical drone like the ScanEagle. The new TERN program calls for a drone that can be ship-launched and recovered, while also carrying a 600-pound payload up to a 900-mile radius from the ship. Second, the LCS is getting a new robotic surface-based mine hunter called the Unmanned Influence Sweep System. All the LCS needs now is a sub-hunting guide to help it avoid another underwater threat, and it just so happens DARAPA's lining one of those up as well. The ACTUV sub-tracking drone is taking shape at SAIC, but no word yet on where it will be assigned once it's ready for deployment.