Powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Royal Navy, BAE Systems collaborate on first autonomous RIBs

BAE Systems and the Royal Navy have partnered to deliver the first autonomous Pacific 24 (P24) rigid inflatable boat (RIB), enhancing the capabilities available to the fleet.

BAE Systems and the Royal Navy have partnered to deliver the first autonomous Pacific 24 (P24) rigid inflatable boat (RIB), enhancing the capabilities available to the fleet.

During Armed Forces Week, BAE Systems and the Royal Navy announced a £3.2 million ($5.8 million) autonomous boat contract that will increase Navy’s capabilities while protecting sailor’s lives.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The autonomous capabilities of BAE Systems’ P24 RIB, a staple in the Royal Navy surface fleet, could significantly enhance the Royal Navy’s ability to protect its sailors at reach, as the upgraded sea boat is able to execute its own missions without crew and be run from a warship.

Such missions could include anti-piracy operations, border control, persistent intelligence gathering, maritime security and force protection, all while keeping a sailor safe from harm.

The autonomous P24 has been procured under the Royal Navy’s autonomy and lethality accelerator program, Navy X, which aims to deliver new technology into the hands of sailors and marines at pace.

UK Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said, "Commencing the trials of the crewless Pacific 24 boat is an important stepping stone in the Royal Navy’s development of its autonomous capability to ensure our fleet remains at the forefront of military innovation and technology, ready to meet the evolving threats of modern warfare."

Brooke Hoskins, products and training services director at BAE Systems, said, "It’s fantastic to see the Royal Navy’s first autonomous Pacific 24 enter the water during this challenging time. This milestone has been a goal since we demonstrated the autonomous capabilities of this sea boat last year.

"It is a key step in supporting Navy X, turning what was originally an innovative research and development experiment into a fielded capability for the Royal Navy."

Lieutenant Commander Rob Manson, Navy X requirements manager, added, "The autonomous P24 is not just a step-change for the Royal Navy in unmanned operations, it also ensures we remain at the forefront of technological improvement and innovation.

"While initial tasks are likely to be familiar to our Royal Navy crews who already operate manned P24 RIBs, the autonomous nature of this craft adds huge capability and flexibility. Additionally, this capability can be constantly improved, allowing continuous updates and capability upgrades, resulting in regular additions to the toolbox of our sailors and ships."

PROMOTED CONTENT

The successful launch of the sea boat took place at Trafalgar Wharf, Portsmouth, earlier this month, in spite of the challenges posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

BAE Systems and Navy X will continue to collaborate on the development of its first autonomous P24, which is carrying out a series of acceptance trials throughout 2020.

The success of these trials could determine whether the Royal Navy decides to upgrade or procure an entire fleet of such craft. This could include their adoption on future classes of warships, such as the Type 26 or Type 31 frigate.

Royal Navy, BAE Systems collaborate on first autonomous RIBs
BAE-Pacific-RIB.jpg
lawyersweekly logo

Key decision-makers and stakeholders within the defence industry will converge at the inaugural Defence Connect AIC Summit for 2021 to discuss improving Australian Industrial Capability to increase the nation's sovereign production, defence capability and resilience. Register your interest to attend today! Limited spaces available. Register your interest to attend, visit: www.defenceconnect.com.au/aic-summit

more from defence connect

Jun 24 2021
Defence extends funding for high-profile quantum computing project
After making a breakthrough in quantum computing and additively manufactured materials, two international research collaborations ...
Markforged 3D printer
Jun 24 2021
Markforged releases field-deployable industrial 3D printer
The X7 FE is a ruggedised, field-deployable industrial 3D printer for tactical response to inventory challenges in remote location...
Babcock signs tripartite agreement with UK Ukraine
Jun 24 2021
Babcock signs tripartite agreement with UK, Ukraine
The global defence firm is set to lead Ukraine’s naval capability enhancement program in co-operation with a number of industry ...