The United Kingdom’s Head of the Royal Navy said that his service was planning to start at a small scale and gradually scale up when it came to the autonomous surface vessels.
Administrator Tony Radakin said earlier this month while addressing an audience that the Royal Navy had not planned, as yet, of pursuing any sort of large formatted and unmanned vessels that were on the scale of the United States Hunter Program, however he did mention that they were beginning to use boats for following an autonomic path. He shared that this felt to him more like the way that they would introduce autonomy in terms of their surface ships because according to him, they might be requiring a mothership and the supporting boats that operate from it, and then they could probably grow in size.
Radakin said that the service was planning to follow the commercial sector with extreme care and then take advantage of the development in the privately established autonomous technology. He added that like most of this, as their civilian community invested in autonomous ships, and they got the reliability, they would be further investing in that way.
However, he said that forging the unmanned future would be the key in future for the Navy. He explained that the one piece that was clear to him was the direction of travel and that is where he thought that the Navy had to shift. He added that they had to expect to move way more quickly.
The NavyX initiative has been launched by the Royal Navy for accelerating the introduction of unmanned systems into the vessels. During the conference of DSEI, the Type 23 Frigate Argyll was controlling an experimental unmanned version of their rigid-hull inflatable boat, called the PAC24, from the combat system of Argyll.