Britain looks to submarine drones


NATO’S SUCCESS with airborne drones has placed a focus on unmanned maritime vehicles for surveillance and combat. The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking to develop a new generation of unmanned maritime drones that would be used for anti-submarine warfare and possible missile attacks on enemy ships.

A fleet of Royal Navy unmanned underwater vehicles is already being used in the Gulf to help prevent Iran from laying mines in important sea lanes, and ministers are considering whether similar devices could be used to tackle pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Documents show that the MoD is hoping to improve drone capabilities, having seen how effective they have been for Nato against the Taliban.