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One of these little buggers, or something looking very similar was found washed up on the Scottish coast last year if my memory serves me? Ukrainian design and build or a NATO/USUK? Platform? Either way well done the Ukrainians.


It was a Liquid Robotics built Wave Glider found washed-up on Tiree in 2020. They’re very slow moving vessels used for underwater surveillance – they’ve been used in the past for monitoring fish stocks. It’s possible there’s a secret trial to use these in the GIUK Gap.


Would dragonfire, once operational not be able to take on the USV threat?


I think the issue is about sensing and decision marking, rather than which effectors to apply. The automated 30mm Bushmaster can hit from 5km away, but at what distance would you spot them?


The RN should get the 30mm Bushmaster cannon fitted to the two aircraft carriers asap.

Supportive Bloke

True it does provide a solution for this in combination with Phalanx and EW.

I’d be surprised if the software mods described in the article have not been made to the CMS.

It is by far the easiest and cheapest way of using existing g weapons which are more than capable of dealing with this type of threat. One 30mm shell or a few Phalanx darts would shred this.


The 40mm Bofors is the best solution, especially with the 3P ammo. Against a soft target like a USV the wall of shrapnel is pretty much impenetrable and doesn’t even need to be aimed perfectly. I can see T31 getting put in a CSG for this role alone, seems to me like RN made a good call with the armaments, despite much derision over lack of missiles.

Last edited 6 months ago by Ben Robins

Agreed the armament was actually purposeful as it achieved the greatest effect at the range and against the targets the RN actually proposed..a number of different configurations were tested and the 57/40/40 came out on was also not the cheapest apparently.

Peter Elliott

As the article notes, a well worked up RN Frigate should be able to defeat these, especially if shipping Martlet. The risk is both to fleeet auxiliaries and the civilian shipping on whih the UK relies. Convoying would need dozens of frigates that we just don’t have and probably can’t afford to build pre-emptively. Arming merchant ships, and UAS overwatch could both be more cost effective, but neither is cost free. Navalised Protector drones armed with Martlet look like a good investment in this context.


The RAF jacket with martlets may be a good investment for each and every shop in the fleet. Also using the new 40mm cannons on the carrier’s instead of the bushmasters. Think phalanx has had is day as it’s only effective to 1.5km out most missiles will still hit the ship.

Supportive Bloke

TBH this article is a non sequitur: the Russian ships don’t have an integrated CMS that creates a threats picture and then hands that off to a threat rules table which then allocates the most appropriate weapons system.

So you cannot compare RN and Russian ships vulnerability in that regard.

RN already has synthesis between radar and EO. Maybe the threat table needs some modified rules. I suspect that work was done long ago after USS Cole.

I’m not complacent but I don’t this this garden shed approach working against warships with fully integrated systems.


Thats a bizarre claim to make that the Russians dont have a centralised combat system for their warships. Their vessels are far more heavily equipped with different radar types, a plethora of missiles systems and large calibre guns and CIWS in the mix.
Its a logical conclusion that they have the software and hardware to provide an integrated picture for the ship decision makers.
Western navies have done so in various forms since around the 1970s, and no it doesnt always seem to be used as it should , as the RN found out in the Falklands losing 2 destroyers when they shouldnt have. USS Stark also hit when it shouldnt have been

a 2 sec search finds this:
So I think its time to put your repeated claim to rest and like the US destroyers involved in collisions more likely human error, poor training and bad habits always lead to disaster

Supportive Bloke

If you’d ever set foot on a Russian ship you would know they are just a series separate systems.

If you understood just how ancient the systems are you would understand the impossibility of connecting them to a CMS. Connecting some buzzard ancient radar to a digitiser doesn’t make it part of a CMS where the CMS needs to be able to task the radar as well.

In ‘82 there wasn’t anything anyone would recognise as CMS. T42 had a singular system of one reheated 50’s radar that connected to a digitiser that fed into a computer room that controlled only Sea Dart. The computer room did not control the radar.

T22 was a bit more sophisticated with its pulsed Doppler radar but still very limited by computer power and only controlled Sea Wolf.

The whole point of a CMS is the multiple sensors are controlled as well as multiple effectors.

There is an awful lot to a CMS.

CMS has nothing to do with basic navigational incompetence. So I’ve no idea why you introduced that into the conversation.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Russian ships always smell of cabbage to me.

Supportive Bloke

I should add that T42, I think from B2 onwards(?), had ADAWS-4 but this still wasn’t pulling the *whole* threat picture into one place – there wasn’t the computing power for that.

Although you could combine certain combinations of sensors in real time.

captain Kirk

yeah, RN ships are absolutely invincible, all have quantum computers, artificial intelligence, spatial torpedoes, phase cannons, photonic missiles, and of course deflector shields,


No RN ships don’t, they have something more useful, they have an actual CMS installed.


ADAWS was first in T83 which was a bit earlier than T42 which is along with what I said
And of course its computing power was negligible by todays standards but those mainframes were still very good at numerical calculations , but displays were fairly basic. For comparison the Boeing 737 Max used a 286 chip as was sufficient for its flight control computer software

Supportive Bloke

ADASWS-1 in County batch 1 was comedy chinograph
ADAWS-2 was significantly better but used a lot of manual input – I’ve used it myself

Bristol was unusual in that she was an ADAWS test bed and had ADAWS 1/2/3 her.

ADAWS-3 was a development that lead to 4.

ADAWS-4 on T42 was at a different level but still very lacking in computational grunt.


Thats hindsight based on the massive computing power in a phone or even in the little box ( 10cm by 10cm) that powers my desktop.

Supportive Bloke


ADAWS was NOT first in F83 (Bristol) it was first in County Class.

I’m also pointing out that ADASW-1 was largely electromechanical (relays and bits of telephone exchange) with a computer doing some stuff wrt to Sea Slug. ADAWS-2 was a big step fowards but it didn’t take the inputs fully automatically.

ADAWS-4 was the first one that was really a computer system. But it struggled due to the 1970’s computers being used.

Suportive Bloke

Sorry typo Bristol did *not* have ADAWS 1/2 in her she had ADAWS-3 later upgraded to ADAWS-4.

There was a sort of ADAWS-3.5 that she also has which was a development version.


Lots of systems for redundancy if/when one breaks down. I have been on an Udaloy and a Sovremenny when post-cold war things thawed a little. These at the time were supposed to be the forefront of russias navy. No CMS. All systems where individual standalone consoles feeding via comms to a plotting board with chinagraphs. OK things may have improved but I doubt it.
I didn’t see them doing as the RN could do at that time, slewing a EO director onto a radar target using CMS keystrokes and a tracker ball and displaying the EO picture as a popup window on a CMS display because they didn’t have a CMS!

And yes onboard they smelt of cabbage.


i did read a paper that made it clear Russian warships especially the soviet build ans warmed up soviet designs being used and built by the Russian navy just did not have this in the way western warships’s the reason they have so many sensors as each weapon system needs its own set of sensors.

Suportive Bloke

Exactly this.

You can pretty much tell how integrated a ships systems are by looking at the number of sensors and number of effectors.

If you have a sensor(s) per system then there isn’t much integration.

If you can integrate radars with EW and other ELINT then you can built a much, much better picture anyway.


The RN is going to have to consider major improvements and access controls to its main Naval Bases plus properly armed Harbour Defence Vessels. Portsmouth, Plymouth, Gibraltar all wide open. Not suggesting closing down civilian traffic but in time of heightened threat an Effective Plan is better than no plan which is what we seem to have now.
No one has had more experience in this type of warfare than the RN. Looking back at the past the RN has had success with Capt Agar VC sinking the Oleg in1919 and St Nazaire, in this type of thing and has been a target; notably with the damage to HMS York in Crete and HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth in Alexandria in 1941 and Gibraltar. Those should be a warning let alone Ukraine’s successes.

Supportive Bloke

Putting a couple of 30mm onto the entrance to the harbour wall is pretty easy. What you control them with is a little more complex.

More the issue is RoE so they don’t end up taking out a few fishermen coming back into harbour with nothing other than their catch on board.


It could be a reasonable guess the RM and RN are the masterminds behind these innovative new autonomous weapons used by Ukraine




“The Russians have not imposed a blackout on the coastal towns of the Black Sea helpfully allowing the drone operator a nice clear view of the ship silhouetted against the lights on the coastline.”

This is because the Russian occupation administrations have already begun building large scale housing developments, in cities such as Mariupol. These are not for Ukrainians who the Russians have made hopeless, but rather for Russians relocating for cheap property. It’s a large scale Russification process to replace the local Ukrainian population.
Imposing a blackout would destroy the narrative portrayed on Russian tv that the occupied areas are a good place to relocate to.


The eastern Ukraine population in places like Mariupol was Russian in the first place , the base reason for the current invasion
Unlike that other place where military occupation is replacing the historical local population with major housing estates. Apparently the West Bank is a shoe on a different foot and international norms dont apply. Add Cyprus to that list of getting away with infamy.


Being Russian speaking doesn’t make a person Russian, otherwise we could claim the population of the USA as being English…

The population of eastern Ukraine was be definition, Ukrainian. In many cases they used Russian as their first language, though since 2014, many of these cities went from being majority Russian speaking to majority Russian speaking as people renounced their Russian connections.

Hilariously you seem to believe Putin’s narrative, and will presumably parrot the same if he moves to ‘protect Russian speakers’ in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc. The reality is that the base reason for the current invasion is an old fashioned land-grab, an aspiration by Putin to rebuild his perceived reach and power of the USSR, along with the valuable rate earth metal deposits in eastern Ukraine. (The latter being important as Putin is as corrupt as a mafioso, and wanted a share of the wealth.)

As for the small number who identify as ‘ethnic Russians’ who live in Eastern Ukraine, I’m pretty sure they prefer living in a democracy under the rule of law than living in an autocratic kleptocracy. Especially when said kleptocracy has spent the last 18 months bombing them, imprisoning them, torturing and killing them.

Last edited 6 months ago by Sean

Democracy in Ukraine comes out of the bank accounts of the oligarchs, or do you forget the putsch against the President from the russian eastern area. Zelenskyy is no different to previous creations of the oligarchs

The Russians in Estonia have second class citizenship , which applies to ‘families’ who arrived after 1941, I only know this as I met one- apparently most have high tailed out of the place after joining the EU.
There were indeed millions of Ukrainians living in Russia as jobs and economic opportunities were better as well as 22% of the Ukraine population were russian in 1991 and down to 17% now
But it is a narrow differentiation as they are all slavs with closely related languages – more alike than that between the low and high German language dialects and they all use a standardised national language like France, Italy Spain etc

Spare us the Kyiv propaganda , as this isnt the place for it . But do you also want to open the can of worms of UK and US atrocities- well publicised- in Iraq and Afghanistan, the flattened cities like Fallujah or in nearby Syria ( another invasion) Raqqa

Last edited 6 months ago by Duker

Your comments about oligarchs accurately describe the corruption of the Yanukovych regime. As such it’s not surprising there was a popular uprising against him when he defied the will of the Ukrainian Parliament- who subsequently voted for him removal as President and a restoration of the constitution.
There was no putsch.

Given USSR’s attempts to destroy Estonian culture and identity by colonisation with Russians it’s not surprising the Estonians are suspicious of Estonian citizens we who express loyalty to a hostile foreign power. I suggest you broaden your circle of Estonians if you want to know the actual facts. The reality is the number of Russians in Estonia has increased in recent years, partly fleeing Putin’s kleptocracy, and partly seeking a better life in the West.

22% of the population of Ukraine were not Russian they were Ukrainian citizens. Now 17% of them did identify as being ethnically Russian, but that doesn’t automatically mean they would want to give up the freedoms of living in a democracy to live in a fascist state like Russia. Having been bombed, shot, tortured and raked for the last 18 months, by Russian armed forces, none of these ethnic Russians see the Russian military as ‘liberators’.

You, Putin, and fellow fascists might call it “Kyiv propaganda”, but the rest of the world recognise all these as facts.


Did the FSB or RT write that fairy story for you?


No , usual British sources

‘Critics, however, say Zelenskiy has failed to reform the state and embraced the same shadowy ways as his predecessors. EU auditors warned last month that “grand corruption and state capture” remained widespread in Ukraine.’

Remember too the Guy Ritchie action movie Operation Fortune that was recently pulled from release because its “gangsters’ were Ukrainian.
Now why would they do that ? I recently streamed a Czech Police TV series and they had the same scenario

Last edited 6 months ago by Duker

You clearly don’t understand the difference between an oligarch and a successful businessman. Oligarchs gained their wealth through corrupt privatisation of state assets after the fall of Communism; if you want examples of these just look at Putin and his mates.
Zelensky made his future through his tv production business. You’ll find most successful tv/film entertainers have their own production companies.

Or maybe it’s just envy on your part that you have not been as successful as Zelensky in your life? Envy of success is the basis of communism after all.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Actually the thing that drove Putin into power in Russia is that he went after the oligarchs. They didn’t come to London for the shopping but to get away from Russian law. Putin is not an oligarch. When the USSR collapsed he went driving taxis in Lenigrad to make ends meet.

Yes you are right about Zelensky making his money through television. But he was backed by an oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky in his poltical career.

Zelenksy was elected on a platform of reaching rapprochement  with Russia. That accounts for some of his success in the eastern oblasts. Why the change came about I do not know. But he and his coterie seem to be doing well in a country with no real economy.


Oh Putin is most definitely an oligarch now, having looted the Russian economy and fleeced several oligarchs of their wealth.

As for Zelensky, he was elected on a policy of rapprochement with Russia. Unfortunately it’s impossible for anyone to reach a rapprochement with someone of bad faith who only wants you dead.
As for Ukraine having “no real economy”, well that’s incorrect. They did, right up to the moment Putin began demolishing it and mass murdering its population.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

I have read all the comments in this little sub thread.

And I have never ever read such utter rhubarb in all my life. Inconvenient facts omitted. Putin is Hitler. Ranting utter stupidity.

I bet all of you would have struggle to find the Ukraine on a map before this started. Of course for you lot this only started last year.

Go read some independent sources. Stop watching the MSM.

All I see here raving ignorant fools urging for a war that could end us all.


I think you need to work on your copy and pasting of URLs. ????

I actually found the CNN article on this topic more detailed.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Hey Children the only thing I don’t like about this site is the puerile insult aproach that lots of members constantly hurl at each other which is unfortnately, a characteristic of most online fora. People write things they would never say face to face. Yes, we are all very imperfect in our knowledge and come from different viewpoints, but why not respect each other’s opinions and questions, and avoid descending into some kind of childish hoodlum fist fight that only encourages any informed opposition to the cause and certainly will not help the Royal Navy which I thought was our goal.




Yes you alway have to be very careful of anyone who starts using the old argument that just because someone’s ethic background is such and such they are such and such and because I’m the leader of such and such they are my citizens and I have sovereignty over them….it’s classic Third Reich justification for invading other nations as stolen and used by Putins Russia….the argument that they speak Russian and so are Russian and under Russian sovereignty is a nasty game….used to justify nasty actions.


You mean like Nato member Turkey used to justify its invasion and occupation of part of Cyprus- part of the population was Turkish speaking, the rest Greek speaking- which Nato the EU and the Commonwealth ( Cyprus belongs to the last 2) has done nothing about for over 40 years.

The Versailles Treaty at the end of WW1 used invented nationality based on language- a nasty game- as the basis to divide Europe, so we had Poland -Germanys borders done on this basis which was then ignored when German Sudeten’s were included in new Czech speaking country. Ukraine was denied its own country at Versailles ( yes they did ask for one like the Kurds) but left as part of Russia

Im curious about this ‘nasty game’ which Nato was involved with the breakup of Yugoslavia into language-religion grounds and Nato troops ( US national Guard) continues the occupation of Kosovo – which is part of Serbia but different religion

Last edited 6 months ago by Duker

Sorry but that’s not the same, the destruction of a multi ethnic empire and the setting up of a number of independent states such as happened after WW1 is not the same thing as using an enclave of those who speak your language as an excuse to invade is not the Same. You’re just spouting the justification for war that has been spouted by many before, it does not make it right just because at one point or other in history everyone has done it. Using racal and cultural as enclaves has always been used as a justification for war….it’s alway a BS excuse used by people who feel they will profit from a war…Putin profits from a war simple as…his foreign policy of all Russian speakers are under his sovereignty and the near aboard means he was alway going to go to war with his neighbours,


Agreed, Putin’s policy with regards to Russian speakers is identical to Hitler’s policy to German speakers – cf Austria, Sudetenland, etc.


And international policy since Versailles – language/ethnic identity/religion is the way to draw borders

1992 Cechia-Slovak split up – check
1980 Kosovo-check
1922 Northern Ireland- check
1999 Wales autonomy -check
Ukraine was created by the communists in the 1920s based on language along with most of the other republics
India has done it for many of its states- subdividing, creating new ones based on language differences

They have tried it in Spain with the Basques and Catalans but got regional autonomy halfway house


Oh so it’s not just Ukraine you don’t think has a right to exist, you don’t think Poland or the Czech Republic should exist either. Any other nations you want to eradicate from the map with bloody warfare? I recall a German leader with similar views.

Yugoslavia, an artificial construct created after WW1 was always likely to shatter apart given it was only held together by totalitarian rule for most of its existence. NATO had nothing to do with the breakup of Yugoslavia. It only intervened at the request of the UN after Serb forces started massacring Bosnians. But you’ve demonstrated that you don’t let historical facts interfere with your views.

Kosovo is an independent state, as recognised by the majority of members of the UN and the UN Security Council. The ICJ also ruled against Serbia in its case against Kosovo. NATO forces continue to protect it from Serb aggression.

Last edited 6 months ago by Sean

Making up stuff , that I havent said.
It was Jonathon who called it nasty stuff having borders that are based on ‘nationality/language’.

For good reasons at the time of Versailles 1919 and ever since that been a common way of resolving border disputes. Who am I to disagree over that other than point out the time Versailles ignored its own ‘nationality’ rules.
Even then the so called international rules was bunkum , it was political and military as Sudetenland showed. Strangely one small province of the new Austria wanted to join its similar high german language Swiss cousins but were refused

Remember the partition of Ireland a distinct country artificially divided by ……., well are they Irish one side and British the other ?

The dependent status of Kosovo is spelt out by this
yes the Kosovo has declared independence but its not recognised as such by Nato and why its the UN pulling the strings for the civil admin.

No answers about Nato Turkey invading their neighbours territory on the basis of ‘nationality’ based on language. It must be OK when Nato does it as there is zero sanctions against them over their occupation

Last edited 6 months ago by Duker

Yes it was Jonathon who identified that your argument boiled down to a medieval attitude of dividing up nations based on language/ethnicity. It is not the accepted method of resolving border disputes, self-determination now takes priority. But given you support authoritarianism, self-determination will be an incomprehensible concept to you.

Turkey invaded Cyprus. Turkey is a member of Eurovision, are you accusing Eurovision of invading Cyprus?
The fact that Turkey is a member of NATO is irrelevant to the invasion of Cyprus.

The division of Ireland is not artificial. While you like to divide up countries based upon ethnicity or language spoken, the modern world believes in self-determination – letting the people there decide. The majority of people in Northern Ireland want to remain British, the majority south of the border wanted to be in an independent republic. Is that really so difficult to grasp? I suppose it is for someone who slavishly follows Putin’s worldviews.

As for Kosovo, you obviously didn’t bother to read the link you posted. The UN mission is an observer only as Kosovo is self-governing with an elected parliament and president. Kosovo is recognised by the majority of UN states, but not all, which is the requirement for membership.


Turkey no more invaded Cyprus under the auspices of NATO than it did under the banner of the UN, FIFA or the Eurovision Song Contest. Yet I don’t see you writing “… like one time Eurovision winner Turkey used to justify its invasion….” Equally true and equally irrelevant. (Why oh why didn’t Terry Wogan do anything?)

As I recall it, with the reign of the Colonels in Greece coming to an end in the 70’s, the junta was taken over by an even more right-wing nationalist bunch, who decided to oust Archbishop Makarios (himself not exactly pro-Turkish) from the Presidency of Cyprus and put in place a new regime that would force Greek control. That’s what sparked the Turkish invasion. At no point did NATO sponsor any side.

You might argue certain parallels with 2014 and Maidan, wrongly in my opinion despite the superficial connections; however, you can’t possibly claim the election of Russophone Zelensky, who sought rapprochement with Russia, justified triggering the 2022 invasion.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jon

I said Turkey,* a nato member*, invaded Cyprus and partitioned the country based on language/religion.
Nato condoned it as they did nothing, Nor did UK in spite of Sovereign bases on the island and what ever the * reasons* that was the 1970s , time to give up you would think
Nice to see you justify it when it suits and make up phrases I never used.
I didnt say ever the Russian invasion is justified , just thats how the Russians see it. And so has much of Europe been divided that way since 1918 including Northern Ireland
Much better than just Boris Bombast dont you think


Neither the Warsaw Pact nor the Salvation Army did anything when Cyprus was invaded, guess that means they condoned it too – according to your logic.

You still don’t get the concept of self-determination do you…?


The quote wasn’t from the message I directly responded to, but from the message two before it in the thread — still your words.

That Turkey was/is a NATO member is irrelevant. You keep highlighting that Turkey is a member of NATO like some meaningless totem. The idea that NATO condoned either or both sides because it did nothing is absurd. NATO didn’t condone or condemn Greece any more that it condoned or condemned Turkey. Both were NATO members, whereas Cyprus wasn’t. What could NATO have done? Show me a NATO article that Luns could have used to justify action? It’s not the function of NATO to take political sides in an invasion by one of its members any more than it’s Eurovision’s. That vision of NATO is simply wrong. If you are writing demonstrating your opinion of Russia’s view, we already know that Russia’s stated perception of NATO is skewed.

Putin claims that NATO is a monolithic military structure that threatens Russia, but he isn’t talking to us. In reality EU and NATO only threaten Russia’s lebensraum. They recognise the sovereignty of territory outside of Russia that Russia wants to control for both economic and military reasons. Russia wants to control other countries’ resources and it is still trying to mentally defend itself from Napoleon and Hitler by scorching somebody else’s territory rather than its own. Unfortunately the “buffer states” said no and joined the EU and NATO instead.

Doing so didn’t make them military enemies of Russia. Let us not forget that less than 10 years ago, Ukraine (even as it reached out to the EU) was selling military equipment to Russia, as was France. Maidan was about economic hegemony not military. It was about the EU not NATO. But NATO can be twisted to be a big scary beast, the new Hitler, the new Napoleon, so it’s NATO encroachment that Putin talks about.

As for Britain’s inaction on Cyprus in 1974 (beyond airlifting Makarios out of there): perhaps Wilson was more worried about the three-day week, the miners’ strikes, TV curfews, IRA bombings in London, the rolling blackouts and the possibility of petrol rationing. All with a minority government that meant he had no political backing to act in Cyprus and could have been thrown out of No 10 if he’d tried.

You are right. It’s no longer the 70’s. So what would you have Britain do now?


The RN has been aware of and practised a lot against small boat threats, be they manned or unmanned since Boghammers where a thing in the early 80s.

Out at sea in a threat area you will have a decent radar picture via CMS, EO sensors and upper deck lookouts (with NVG at night). You will have clear firing arcs for everything from Sea ceptor, 4.5, 30mm, Phalanx, 50 cal, Mini gun and GPMG plus Helo and you can add in going at max chat and manoeuvring heavily at speed to create a heavy wash/wake.

The most vulnerable place for a vessel is in its harbour either alongside or in harbour transit with limited sea room. Things like booms and nets with harbour patrols are what’s needed there. If entering or leaving harbour you close up the Force Protection and guess what? Thats exactly what the RN does and has done for decades. Thats why you see CRW mounts crewed up and loaded.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Will the minigun get a stay of execution I wonder? If for no other reasons that we don’t have anything to replace it on the ships’ sides.


They need to find some money for it.As you say The only thing we have to sweep up and down the hull. You certainly cannot do that with a 50 or GPMG

Bloke down the pub

Besides painting their sides black to change the appearance of vessels during daylight, the most sensible option to confuse attacking usvs would seem to be altering the silhouette by means of awnings.


USVs should be a wakeup call to NATO and other navies as they design and outfit their ships. Detection at close range is paramount, using high-resolution surface search radar complemented by multispectral EO sensors. Then you have to be able to assign the right weapon, whether missile or gun. The problem with some of the weapons we have is inadequate depression angles, limiting the use of the weapon. Phalanx Block 1B can depress to -25degrees, which is much better than previous versions. The DS-30B I think depresses to 20 degrees. There is a need to have guns (miniguns?) that allow firing volume at even closer ranges, should they leak beyond the preferred perimeter.

Another solution could be a small VL missile, like the Hellfire, which carries enough punch to completely destroy any fast craft within 8km. That was the thinking for equipping the LCS with a 24-cell launcher, but it remains to be seen how many get their missile loadout.

On the other hand..

As a complete novice in things naval, would I be foolish to recommend that we sell our two aircraft carriers, which have no aircraft, to a suitable buyer (India?) and use the money to buy our own drones, both air and seaborne, defenses against hostile drones on land, sea and air, and smaller, more agile RN ships perhaps of the HMS Dragon type? Our aircraft carriers, like tanks,are yesterday’s weapons and would last minutes if attacked.


More and more countries are building similar ships as aircraft carriers of different types . Even Japan is back in the game

On the other hand..

Not sure if that is a good reason for us to do the same. Perhaps we should move ahead of the game, the rules of which have changed dramatically as the Russia/Ukraine war has evolved.


An interesting article on latest UAV developments;
“ GA-ASI Advances Ecosystem for Autonomously Operational UCAV


Combining Third-Party Autonomy Skills and Government FoX Tablets for Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles to Operationalize Manned-Unmanned Teaming

SAN DIEGO – 09 August 2023 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) advanced its ability to operationalize the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) ecosystem by combining advanced autonomy and government-provided human-machine interface (HMI) hardware. A GA-ASI-owned Avenger® Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) was paired with “digital twin” aircraft to autonomously conduct Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) multi-objective collaborative combat missions.

The flights, which took place on July 13, 2023, from GA-ASI’s Desert Horizon Flight Operations Facility in El Mirage, Calif., demonstrate the company’s commitment to maturing its UCAV ecosystem for Autonomous Collaborative Platforms (ACP). The ecosystem’s goal is to rapidly integrate best-of-breed capabilities in areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), mission-relevant interfaces, and other capabilities from third-party providers at the speed of relevance for 21st century conflicts.

The team demonstrated Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) using the U.S. Air Force’s Project FoX system, which included a touchscreen tablet for fighter cockpits. The tablet provided control and monitoring of advanced autonomy while it conducted a multi-objective combat mission consisting of LVC entities. Mission autonomy capabilities focused on optimized search and signature management. Search optimization autonomy behaviors were provided by Scientific Systems Company, Inc. (SSCI). These skills were integrated into and orchestrated by government-furnished equipment (GFE) autonomy core architecture enhanced by GA-ASI. The flexibility of the GFE autonomy core software stack enabled rapid, seamless integration of one of SSCI’s multi-UAS behaviors. Autonomous trajectories were calculated by SSCI algorithms and subsequently communicated to GA-ASI’s autonomy core for translation to vehicle routes. SSCI provided an array of behaviors using its Collaborative Mission Autonomy suite where the software adapts to mission contingencies such as system failures, connectivity dropout, and combat losses to ensure successful tactical execution.

“The concepts demonstrated by these flights set the standard for operationally relevant mission systems capabilities on UCAV platforms,” said GA-ASI Senior Director of Advanced Programs Michael Atwood. “Our integration of the emerging FoX system accelerates speed to ramp for emerging collaborative air-to-air capabilities. The combination of airborne high-performance computing, sensor fusion, human-machine teaming, and AI pilots making decisions at the speed of relevance shows how quickly GA-ASI’s capabilities are maturing as we move to operationalize autonomy for UCAVs.”

The signature management skill, based on deep reinforcement learning, was developed by GA-ASI. Skill development leveraged GA-ASI’s novel Reinforcement Learning (RL) architecture that was designed using agile software methodology and industry-standard tools such as Docker and Kubernetes. Commanded using the FoX tablet, the RL agent navigated to an operator-identified target while minimizing the radar cross section (RCS). This MUM-T, facilitated via open mission system (OMS) messages and alignment to the newest government architectures, demonstrated real-time operator tasking and supervision of an autonomous platform as it conducted its mission.

The team used a government-furnished autonomy core engine and the government-standard OMS messaging protocol to enable communication between the RL agents and the LVC system. Utilizing government standards such as OMS will make rapid integration of autonomy for UCAVs possible. In addition, GA-ASI used a General Dynamics EMC2 to run the autonomy architecture. EMC2 is an open architecture Multi-Function Processor with multi-level security infrastructure to run the autonomy architecture, demonstrating the ability to bring high-performance computing resources to UCAVs to perform quickly tailorable mission sets depending on the operational environment.

GA-ASI is demonstrating its commitment to maturing an autonomy infrastructure to enable rapid integration and validation of third-party tactical software applications from an App Store and maintaining safety of flight. This is another in an ongoing series of autonomous flights performed by GA-ASI using internal research and development funding to prove out important AI/ML concepts for UAS.”

Steve C

Almost as if the Type 31 armament was actually thought-through with a role in mind…

[…] remote operation of these USVs is believed to be facilitated through a satellite link, which has undergone refinements to enhance its […]