In early March this year, the First Sea Lord revealed that the RN will receive its first large unmanned submarine. Here we look at the background to this project and how the platform will be used to test technologies and develop doctrine.
Despite pioneering an unmanned mine-hunting system used in the Gulf War as far back as 2003, the RN has since made very little progress in deploying Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) operationally. There has been a recent increase in development initiatives but integration of MAS into the core activities and operating doctrine of the fleet seems some way off.
In the previous article we considered the design and development of the Type 26 frigate mission bay. Here we take a more speculative look at how this flexible space could be used.
The Type 26 frigates being built for the RN have been designed from the outset with a mission bay. In the first part of a 2-part article, we examine the design, layout and implications of this flexible space.
The 13 Royal Navy mine countermeasures vessels (MCMV) that remain active are ageing ships but a series of ongoing incremental upgrades will ensure they are able to remain in service into the early 2030s. Here we examine some of the upgrades and a take an overview of the complex plans for the RN’s future mine hunting capability (and attempt to navigate the confusing set of associated acronyms!).
The ATLAS Remote Combined Influence Minesweeping System (ARCIMS), which provides an autonomous minesweeping capability was handed over to the Royal Navy this week.
The MoD is now running a public consultation for its on-going defence review, now named the “Modernising Defence Programme” (MDP). The MDP will consist of four ‘work streams’. This is our submission for consideration, primarily focused on the naval aspects of the most critical Defence policy, outputs and military capability work stream (Although some principles may also be applicable to the Army and RAF).
Ahead of DSEI 2017 (Defence & Security Equipment International) exhibition in London, BMT Defence Services has launched Venari-85, a new concept for a mine countermeasure (MCM) vessel. The RN is looking at options to replace its current generation of mine warfare and hydrographic vessels and this new design provides an intriguing hybrid for consideration.
For most navies including the RN, the trend is towards building bigger, more powerful and expensive ‘small combatants’. Unmanned technology offers new possibilities to partially escape this size, cost and complexity spiral. It also can save exposing the crew to danger as well as the cost and size penalty of their accommodation space. More