Unmanned Marine Vehicles

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 22nd September 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards Independent, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) progress by other countries in developing marine autonomous unmanned surface vehicles and (b) ability of Royal Navy submarines to avoid detection by those vehicles.

Photo of Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards Independent, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the number of countries that (a) have developed and (b) are developing marine autonomous unmanned surface vehicles to detect submarines.

Photo of James Heappey James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The Ministry of Defence audits the integrity of our submarine fleet regularly for all threats and acts to ensure that it maintains the highest possible standards. The oceans are, and will remain, complex and challenging environments in which to conduct large-scale anti-submarine warfare despite technological advancements.

I am unable to make specific comment on the UK's assessment of other countries' autonomous unmanned surface vehicles for the purposes of safeguarding national security as disclosure would be likely to prejudice the defence of the UK and the capability and effectiveness of the Armed Forces.

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