Farnborough, UK. 13 July 2016. Moving away from the expected BAE Systems has introduced two new boats by informing that it was converting two of its rigid inflatables to unmanned versions. British Royal Navy are already using them and will put these for trials in October.
Pacific 950 is used by the Royal Marines and Pacific 24 craft is aboard many Royal Navy ships. As per the BAE spokesperson these are designed to stay at sea for days undertaking surveillance after being launched from manned vessels and are equipped with radar, optical sensors, data links, a towed acoustic array including a small unmanned helicopter.
BAE Systems has installed the new kit in their place for unmanned missions, including a small unmanned helicopter and hopes these will be able to take off from and land on the boat at sea.
Trials have already taken place in the Solent, a strait off the English coast, two weeks ago. It is an estimated investment of £1.4 million (US $1.8 million) and ill be a fillip to the Royal Navy fleet.