Unmanned Aerial and Marine Vehicles

Defence written question – answered on 4th March 2013.

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Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith Conservative, Richmond Park

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the potential of (a) unmanned underwater vehicles and (b) unmanned aerial vehicles for maritime reconnaissance.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by the previous Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Sir Nick Harvey who, while giving evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) on maritime surveillance on 23 May 2012, stated that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) intends to explore fully all options and alternatives for providing maritime surveillance which will include unmanned underwater and aerial vehicles.

Trials of unmanned systems and the Air ISTAR Optimisation Study (AIOS) will be part of that work and an update will be provided to the HCDC on the initial findings of the AIOS and other significant developments in maritime surveillance in the summer of 2013, with a further update in the summer of 2014 when the AIOS is complete.

The Royal Navy is developing a maritime unmanned aerial strategy to link into the wider Defence efforts in this area and lever efficiencies which will be completed in the summer of 2013.

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