The Royal Navy and Maritime Autonomous Systems – better late than never

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.

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The future of Royal Navy mine hunting

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!).

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Royal Navy sailors commissioning ceremony White Ensign

Five priorities for the Modernising Defence Programme 2018

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).  

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Venari 85 BMT Mine warfare vessels

BMT introduces Venari 85 – candidate for future Royal Navy mine warfare vessel?

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.

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Type 26 frigate

Post-SDSR optimism disappearing over the horizon

The November 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review appeared to be a broadly positive result for the RN. Although much of what was promised would not materialise until far into the future, there was an end to the perpetual cycle of cuts and some cautious optimism. 9 months on the feel-good factor is evaporating and there is a rising tide of anger amongst those who understand what is happening to the navy. It is increasingly difficult to have confidence that government promises for the long-term will deliver tangible results when they are failing to deliver in the short-term.

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Unmanned Surface Vessel

Unmanned Platforms & the Royal Navy – Part 2 Surface & Underwater Systems

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. 

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