Friday, November 22, 2019
The skye times mobile

Drone wars are set to hit the seas around Skye next week.

As part of Unmanned Warrior - the Royal Navy's first major training exercise using drones  – the unmanned machines will take part in a massive demonstration of the new technology

The exercise, a world’s first, will see a large-scale deployment of unmanned systems alongside a major multinational naval exercise.

Over 50 unmanned vehicles from more than 40 suppliers will work cooperatively on missions from anti-submarine warfare to mine countermeasures.

QinetiQ's transportable command and control centre

Held off the Scottish and Welsh coasts in October 2016, and on ranges managed by QinetiQ on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), Unmanned Warrior will involved over 500 participants, observers and visitors.

Lt Cdr Clive Langmead, of the Royal Navy, said: "In Scotland, QinetiQ, as part of its long term partnership agreement with MoD have prepared the flying and underwater ranges which it runs in Benbecula, Stornoway, Applecross and the Kyle of Lochalsh, including erecting hangars and laying a dummy mine field for the robots to try and find.

"Several Royal Navy mine hunters will also be trying to do the same. So this will be a very direct test of new systems against old.

"The mine hunters already use remotely piloted submarines in their work, but Unmanned Warrior is hoping to show things can be taken a stage further."

The demonstrations, spanning six weeks, are in response to a call from First Sea Lord, Admiral George Zambellas, challenging technology firms, scientists, academics, and British and Allied military forces to show off hi-tech systems which could revolutionise naval warfare.

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