Menu
British navy sends robots to sea in military exercise

British navy sends robots to sea in military exercise

It's not about sinking ships, but about surveillance, intelligence-gathering and mine countermeasures

The Royal Navy is testing just how much robot craft can do by themselves in military exercises off the British coast.

Operation Unmanned Warrior 16 is a chance for allied nations and the defense industry to show off their latest maritime autonomous systems, as part of a broader military exercise called Joint Warrior.

"Fire and forget" torpedoes capable of homing in on the noise emitted by a target -- then sinking it -- have been around since World War II, but the systems involved in this exercise are less offensive.

More than 50 craft are taking part this week, including uncrewed helicopters and underwater vehicles, and an autonomous rigid inflatable boat (RIB). They will perform tasks such as surveillance, intelligence-gathering and mine countermeasures.

Some of the craft are operating out of the British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre on the coast of Scotland. The center conducts trials year-round for the U.K. Ministry of Defence, and during the exercise will demonstrate three of Unmanned Warrior's five themes: command and control, mine hunting, and hydrographic survey.

Among the craft under test are Remus 100 and Remus 600, which use sonar beams to locate mines and to map the sea bed, and the Blue Bear Blackstart fixed-wing uncrewed aerial vehicle, which serves as a communications relay when the other craft are out of direct radio range of the base.

A key part of the exercise is to determine how the different autonomous craft can be made to interact with one another, whether relaying signals or giving shorter-range craft a ride to and from the operations area.

Some of the underwater mapping craft can run missions of up to eight hours without human intervention -- longer if another autonomous vehicle picks them up and carries them back to base. At one stage of the exercise nine autonomous craft were interacting with one another to complete their missions, the Navy said.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags robotsmilitary

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments