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Britain is stepping up efforts to create unmanned units for the Royal Navy. Over £ 3m has already been invested in appropriate systems for the British Navy, most of it in an unmanned Pacific 24. This has now been launched and is ready for the sea tests.

Pacific 24 reaches speeds of up to 38 knots (around 70 km / h) and has been (successfully) deployed for the Royal Navy for over 25 years. The last variant, Mark 4, was only introduced last year. In the future, the unmanned version will take over operations that do not necessarily require the presence of people on board.

"The start of testing an unmanned Pacific 24 is an important stepping stone to the development of the Royal Navy's autonomous capability," said British Defense Minister Jeremy Quin at the launch. "This is to ensure that our fleet remains at the forefront of military innovation and technology and is ready to meet the evolving threats to modern warfare."

A prototype controlled by the frigate HMS Argyll made its debut at the DSEI in London last September. The unmanned Pacific 24 is financed by NavyX, a specialty department of the Royal Navy that is dedicated to the rapid development and testing of new technologies for use.

Dorothee Frank