BAE Systems completes trials of autonomous patrol boat

BAE Systems has successfully completed a series of trials on a new autonomous boat for naval operations, especially in high-risk areas.

The rigid inflatable boat (RIB) demonstrator was developed with assistance from L3Harris and MSI Defence Systems. The technology has been designed to be retrofitted to existing RIBs, such as those currently in service with the Royal Navy.

The vessel can operate for up to 10 days at “patrol speed” or 300 nautical miles in pursuit mode, reaching speeds of up to 45 knots, whilst either being remotely controlled or on a semi-autonomous mission.

Missions will include anti-piracy operations, border control, intelligence gathering, maritime security, and force protection. The RIB may also be armed with a 12.7-millimetre machine gun mounted on a remote weapon station.

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