Royal Navy is planning to launch unmanned mine hunters and survey technology. Namely, a specialist autonomous kit has now been handed over into military service and will start live operations from March.
Sailors trained in this of type mission will be stationed at HMNB Clyde, where the remotely operated kit, including submersibles and boats designed to hunt down mines but also analyse the oceans and sea floor, will be deployed from.
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Initial operations are now being conducted by Project Wilton, the name for the Royal Navy’s unmanned mine hunting and survey endeavours. Wilton currently have three boats – two remote controlled and the other manned – as well as multiple underwater vehicles.
With equipment and personnel now operating on the Clyde, the transition to widespread use of autonomous systems in mine counter measures (MCM) is becoming a reality and places the Royal Navy MCM community at the cutting edge
Commodore Mike Knott, assistant chief of staff Maritime Capability, stated.
This project aims to promote UK’s ambition to make mine hunting safer and more effective through the use of autonomous and robotic technology.
This kit will also supplement the Royal Navy’s current mine hunting missions carried out by the mine countermeasures ships of the Hunt and Sandown classes.
The work continues on the base of ongoing trials of unmanned and autonomous technology performed by the Royal Navy, Defence Equipment and Support and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.