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Ocean and air going autonomous vehicles are capable of performing “dirty, dull and dangerous” (3D) missions and have already proved invaluable in the field. 3D missions arise not only in defense operations, but also in civilian operations, such as those concerned with oceanographic and environmental protection or harbor protection missions. These current trends set new requirements for future generations of unmanned vehicle systems: increased levels of autonomy, spatial-temporal sampling, lower cost, longer endurance, and networking capabilities. Recent trends show that the levels of spatial-temporal operational resolutions and endurance of missions attained with individual vehicles are feasible for wide areas through the operation of persistent vehicle networks. Networking is one of the major trends for unmanned vehicle systems. We use networked vehicle systems to describe systems where vehicles, sensors and operators interact through (inter-operated) communication networks. Networked vehicle systems offer new possibilities to the operation of unmanned vehicles. The validation and verification of the effectiveness and quality of service of unmanned vehicle systems in future persistent vehicle networks are discussed in the light of the major challenges associated to this vision and the development process of such systems. This discussion is illustrated with examples of developments from the Underwater Systems and Technologies Laboratory from Porto University.