in Defence

Royal Navy continues trials of heavy-lift drone

Posted 23 June 2020 · Add Comment

The Royal Navy’s experts in getting new technology to the frontline quickly are trialling the use of heavy-lift drones for future use on warships.

NavyX and DARE (Discover, Analysis and Rapid Exploitation) have been working with UK drone firm Malloy Aeronautics and Planck Aerosystems in the development of the unmanned air vehicles for the purpose of moving supplies onto ships.



Above: Exercise Autonomous Advance Force put unmanned boat Mast 13, heavy lift drone from Malloy, remotely-piloted air system Puma and the Remus unmanned sub-surface drone through their paces in the harsh conditions of the Arctic.
Courtesy Royal Navy / Crown Copyright

The heavy-lift drone has already been put through its paces in the harsh environment of the Arctic Circle in the Royal Navy’s Autonomous Advance Force exercise. In northern Norway earlier this year, it proved it could be operated safely in all conditions and could successfully deliver stores.

The latest round of trials were to prove the Malloy drone could land and launch on moving vessels, something it will be required to do if introduced into the navy.

However, before taking it to sea, it was tested on land, tasking it with landing on a van’s trailer moving at different speeds and with the trailer swerving to reflect the range of conditions at sea.

Peter Whitehead, DARE project lead, said: “These trials with Malloy and Planck are the next evolution to making unmanned systems increasingly autonomous and of benefit to the navy. It increases their utility at sea and their use in future Royal Navy operations.

“Using this drone in this way reduces the level of human involvement and interaction in logistics and shows how the Royal Navy wants to move forward in its use of the latest technologies.

“We cannot wait to prove its uses at sea in the near future.”

The use of unmanned air vehicles in the logistics role offers a range of advantages from reduced costs, missions being completed quicker and the ship’s company not being exposed to certain risks.

Jack Wakley, head of the engineering team from Malloy Aeronautics, said the latest round of trials was an important step in enabling maritime autonomy with Malloy technology.

He added: “While the next steps are well defined, where should the end goal be? For me, I am really looking forward to proving automated recovery on our 370kg T400 aircraft, to a larger vessel of course.

“Being able to autonomously deploy 180kg payloads from a Royal Navy vessel at 20km stand-off would be an exciting capability to deliver.”

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Dstl forecasts future quantum landscape for UK defence and security

According to a research paper published by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and in collaboration with UK Strategic Command - 'Quantum Information Processing Landscape

Smiths Detection collaborates with Attomarker on COVID-19 testing device

Smiths Detection has collaborated with Attomarker Ltd, a multiplex blood-testing technology company spun out of the University of Exeter, to help produce a robust and accurate COVID-19 antibody-testing device that could represent

QinetiQ unifies its US defence and security ops

QinetiQ has signed an agreement with the US Defense Counterintelligence & Security Agency (DCSA) to operate all of its US defence and security operations under a new Special Security Agreement (SSA).

Databarracks releases Data Health Check 2020

Databarracks, today announced the release of the 2020 Data Health Check. Running since 2008, the annual report questions over 400 IT decision-makers in the UK on critical issues relating to IT resilience, cybersecurity, cloud and

CFMS study bolsters business case for regional electric aircraft

A new study from the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), a not-for-profit specialist in digital engineering, has helped the aerospace industry move a step closer to the development of regional electric aircraft.

Manchester Airport’s T2 reopens

With Terminal Two reopening this week, all three of Manchester Airport’s terminals will be open from Wednesday 15th July.

ODU 0201311219
See us at
DVD 2020