UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed that funding will be provided to the Royal Navy for the acquisition of two new autonomous surface vessels (ASVs) optimised for mine countermeasures (MCM) operations.
The vessels will be equipped with towed synthetic aperture sonars to enable remote mine-hunting at higher ranges and speeds and with greater accuracy than what is possible with existing unmanned MCM craft in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) inventory.
The funding for the autonomous MCM vessels will be sourced from a £75 million (US$97 million) injection that will also cover the planned acquisition of new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by the Royal Navy.
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