UK Royal Navy tests remote-controlled aircraft to inspect warships

15 June 2015 (Last Updated June 15th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Royal Navy has successfully tested a remote-controlled aerial system, which could be used to monitor its fleet, at the Portsmouth Naval Base.

drone_Diamond

The UK Royal Navy has successfully tested a remote-controlled aerial system, which could be used to monitor its fleet, at the Portsmouth Naval Base.

The mini drone is designed to conduct a high-quality survey of the navy's vessels. The aircraft is capable of carrying out the inspection of a warship within 30 minutes.

The UK Royal Navy tested the aircraft, which weighs just 2.5kg, above and around its Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond, successfully demonstrating that it can withstand wind speeds of up to 30k.

With this capability, the drone is expected to support the navy during the maintenance of its warships.

During the maintenance period, a tower of scaffolding is erected around the mast of a vessel when engineers need to inspect the state of the structure. Erecting scaffolding may take weeks.

"Allowing ships to diagnose their own defects at sea, will enhance the operational capability and flexibility of the navy."

Diamond commanding officer, commander Marcus Hember said: "The ability to reduce time and cost during these maintenance periods, as well as allowing ships to diagnose their own defects at sea, will enhance the operational capability and flexibility of the navy deployed worldwide."

The drone's camera will be able to capture either hi-resolution stills or video footage of the area inspected.

According to the navy engineers can access the imagery within minutes of the system's landing.

The Royal Navy will conduct more trials involving unmanned technologies over the next 16 months.


Image: The UK Royal Navy tested the aircraft above and around its Type 45 destroyer, HMS Diamond. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.