UK To Develop Unmanned Anti-Submarine Helicopter

UK To Develop Unmanned Anti-Submarine Helicopter

Photo illustration Wikimedia
030521-D-9078S-001 (May 21, 2003) -- This conceptual drawing shows the new Virginia-class attack submarine now under construction at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., and Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va. The first ship of this class, USS Virginia (SSN 774) is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2004. U.S. D.O.D. graphic by Ron Stern. (RELEASED)

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A new announcement from the UK’s Ministry of Defense proclaims that aviation modernization will not be slowing down anytime soon. A new contract has been signed between the Ministry of Defense and an Italian defense giant for the development of a new unmanned helicopter for the Royal Navy. This helicopter will be designed to conduct anti-submarine warfare missions; however, the British Ministry of Defense argues that it will also be potentially used for ship-to-ship resupply and casualty evacuation. 

This advanced helicopter will be designed to “track and communicate submarine activity” through the deployment of sonobuoys. Upon detection of a submarine, the uncrewed helicopter would then call for support from crewed assets, according to a statement made by the Ministry. It will be designed to operate at lower cost than crewed aircraft, capabilities derived from the demonstrator could also reduce the exposure of Royal Navy personnel to hostile threats reports that the UK’s minister for Defense Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said that the new aircraft could “provide a platform capable of delivering improved surveillance and intelligence, enabling crewed Royal Navy helicopters to re-deploy on alternative missions if required.”

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, has put out his own take on the country’s technological progression. “I want you to know that this government believes in British aviation, and British technological genius and its power to bring jobs and growth across our whole country, uniting and leveling up across the whole country,” Johnson stated. 

“The combat aircraft systems of the future will be very different, and some of them will be manned, some of them will be crewed and some of them won’t be,” Johnson continued. “And in developing these new technologies and maintaining the air superiority that we have luxuriated in for so long and which is so crucial for our long-term security, I want our country to be in the lead.”