Royal Navy’s future unmanned boats take an ‘important step forward’ in Portsmouth

One of the unmanned boats
One of the unmanned boats
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FUTURISTIC unmanned boats took to the water in Portsmouth Harbour during a demonstration by defence giant BAE Systems.

The event was a testing ground for unmanned systems which could one day bolster the Royal Navy’s drone capabilities.

The project involved a range of key companies and pitted BAE’s P950 unmanned rigid inflatable boat (RIB) – developed alongside Fareham-based ASV Ltd – against a ‘threat boat’.

The RIB was controlled from a command centre at BAE’s Maritime Integration and Support Centre, almost six miles away on Portsdown Hill, where it was led to intercept the hostile craft.

Richard Williams, BAE’s combat systems director, said this was ‘an important step forward towards integrating novel unmanned systems into a warship’s combat system’.