UV - Unmanned Vehicles

RCN pushes ahead with UAS plans

10th January 2018 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is pushing ahead with plans to acquire a family of UAS that can be operated from all Canadian vessels in order to provide near real-time intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance information, the RCN announced on 4 January.

The systems will be acquired under the first phase of the navy's Unmanned System programme.

The UAS will provide information to extend a commander’s situational awareness, increase interoperability with joint forces ashore, and ensure that the Halifax-class maintains a tactical advantage over potential threats while minimising risk to the ship and maritime helicopter.

Trials of UAS have been carried out, with systems supporting the RCN contribution to Operation MOBILE in Libya in 2011, and more recently during Operation ARTEMIS by intercepting multiple illicit narcotics shipments. By providing visual surveillance, the UAS also reduced the risk to Canadian armed forces manoeuvre elements.

In October 2016 the Director of Naval Requirements conducted a capability demonstration onboard HMCS Summerside where the AeroVironment RQ-20 Puma UAS was evaluated. A maritime evaluation of class 1 rotary wing UAS was also conducted onboard HMCS Winnipeg in early November 2017.

The information and results obtained during the maritime evaluations will help the RCN’s development of unmanned systems' use at sea and the evaluation of ships’ critical defence systems.

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