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UK trials minehunting mothership and autonomous vessels together for the first time

4th July 2023 - 16:00 GMT | by Harry Lye in London


RN autonomous minehunting boats operate alongside mothership RFA Stirling Castle. (Photo: UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

The UK has trialled autonomous minehunting vessels and a new ‘mothership’ together for the first time.

The trial, touted as a ‘milestone moment’ for the future of the UK’s mine countermeasure operations, saw three boats, RMNB Apollo, Hydra and Hazard, join the recently purchased RFA Stirling Castle for a series of tests off Portland, Dorset.

The trials aimed to prove autonomous vessels could be hosted onboard Stirling Castle and eventually be controlled or remotely operated from the ship.

Stirling Castle – bought as a commercial vessel – will officially join the RFA after a naming ceremony in August and deploy on operations.

RAdm Ivan Finn, Director Navy Acquisition, said: ‘These trials marks a key milestone

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Harry Lye


Harry Lye

Harry Lye was Senior Naval Reporter at Shephard Media.

Harry joined the company in 2021, …

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