The development and testing of Thales' of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Underwater Unmanned Vehicles (UUVs) takes place from their UK Maritime Autonomy Centre here at Turnchapel Wharf.

The following article from The Times goes into depth about how these ROVs and UUVs are being utilised in military environments, looking at examples from Thales in Plymouth and BAE Systems in Portsmouth.

Article written by Jon Yeomans, published on Sunday 3rd March 2024 on The Times.

Photo: Thales / Shaun Roster

Navies eye self-driving boats for ‘dull, dirty and dangerous’ jobs at sea

It’s a sunny day on the Solent and a 12-metre-long black motorboat is speeding around in circles off the coast of Portsmouth. The sleek P-38 is clearly a military craft: mounted to its front is a square cannon that can fire a net to entangle approaching boats. Sharper-eyed passengers on the ferries that pass nearby may spy something else: there is no one at the wheel.

The P-38 is an autonomous boat being tested by the FTSE 100 engineering giant BAE Systems. It’s the latest entrant in an increasingly crowded field — or ocean — as defence firms harness autonomous technology to create powerful new weapons in a market that experts predict could be worth more than £100 billion by the end of the decade.

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