Royal Navy to deploy autonomous robots for underwater surveillance missions

The Brit Royal Navy has committed to deploying autonomous robots for use as underwater surveillance machines, it has been reported.

Officials renewed and expanded its agreement for the underwater survey with the National Oceanography which it hopes will enhance the Navy’s capabilities.

Both partners will continue to collaborate in trials and testing of marine autonomous systems and sensors to gather information.

It is hoped the agreement will lead to wider use of unmanned underwater vehicles and continue their development – making more agile working models.

There is also optimism that the collaborative projects will be able to lead to increased information sharing.

Possible upcoming projects could be testing out whether the autonomous bots will see any future military use.

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The centre associate director for National Marine Facilities, Leigh Storey said: “There continue to be multiple opportunities for the National Oceanography Centre to work closely with the Royal Navy and DSTL from scientific interpretation of oceanographic data to joint development of autonomous systems, from the coast to the deep ocean.

"DSTL’s role in the partnership is to shape the Royal Navy’s direction of travel in terms of future capability, through their own research, but also through enabling a greater level of engagement with other researchers and academics in the field.”

This comes as the Royal Navy scrambled warships to deal with a Russian submarine which had approached close to UK waters.

The Krasnodar submarine was picked up by French intelligence off the coast of Ushant Island in Brittany on Sunday.

HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey then watched every movement of the Kilo-class vessel.

  • Royal Navy warships scrambled to Russian submarine after close shave with UK

The attack submarine, built in the Soviet Union for the Soviet Navy in the 1980s, had been conducting a surfaced transit from the Eastern Mediterranean.

Tyne, an Offshore Patrol Vessel based in Portsmouth, had picked up the submarine in the south-west end of the English Channel.

The French Navy had earlier tracked its journey through the Bay of Biscay.

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