NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
Repulse
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NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Repulse »

Given that the Royal Navy has repackaged it’s autonomous research, designs and trials programmes under one umbrella, thought it would be ideal to have a single topic to track and discuss.

From the RN Website:
NavyX is the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator, which will rapidly develop, test and trial cutting-edge equipment, with the aim of getting new technology off the drawing board and into the hands of our people on operations at a pace that has not been possible before. It will operate across all maritime environments - over water, on water, underwater and the littoral.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

Repulse
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Repulse »

At the recent DSEI Admiral Tony Radakin explained the approach to start small and then move eventually to larger ships, like the Sea Hunter - perhaps a different approach to the USN.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... e-vessels/

Question: Is this the best approach? I would have thought a better approach would be to look at larger ships in parallel, but in a different way - I.e. semi autonomous, increasing automation in parallel to drastically reducing crew numbers?

With specific concerns around Russian aggression, the proliferation of quiet SSK technology and limited funds (resulting in limited T26 and P8 numbers), surely a semi-autonomous RN version of the Sea Hunter should be looked at?

Discuss :crazy:
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

I will be eager to hear if (and when) the prgrm will pick up from the Anglo-French MCM prgrm
- this announcement might also answer the question as to "why" - when the French pretty much made their announcement not long ago - the corresponding RN announcement was pencilled into 2020. Could of course simply be the "one-year only" spending review as any purchases would run well beyond that horizon.
... or both factors playing in
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by abc123 »

Repulse wrote:
With specific concerns around Russian aggression, the proliferation of quiet SSK technology and limited funds (resulting in limited T26 and P8 numbers), surely a semi-autonomous RN version of the Sea Hunter should be looked at?

Discuss :crazy:
On the other hand, with such limited funds and just about zero chance of increase in the future, maybe it's better to simply buy another T26 or few Poseidons more, than to waiste money on some cutting edge research that will probably result in too-expensive toys to be bought in decent numbers ( like say UAVs ) and whos'e utility in real combat situations is doubtful?
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Caribbean »

abc123 wrote:On the other hand, with such limited funds and just about zero chance of increase in the future, maybe it's better to simply buy another T26 or few Poseidons more, than to waiste money on some cutting edge research that will probably result in too-expencive toys to be bought in decent numbers ( like say UAVs ) and whos'e utility in real combat situations is doubtful?
Unfortunately, that is the route to obsolesence - without R&D (which is always expensive) we will simply fall farther and farther behind our potential foes, until there is no point in even having a navy
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

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The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Repulse wrote:At the recent DSEI Admiral Tony Radakin explained the approach to start small and then move eventually to larger ships, like the Sea Hunter - perhaps a different approach to the USN.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... e-vessels/

Question: Is this the best approach? I would have thought a better approach would be to look at larger ships in parallel, but in a different way - I.e. semi autonomous, increasing automation in parallel to drastically reducing crew numbers?

With specific concerns around Russian aggression, the proliferation of quiet SSK technology and limited funds (resulting in limited T26 and P8 numbers), surely a semi-autonomous RN version of the Sea Hunter should be looked at?

Discuss :crazy:
I agree "to start small and then move eventually to larger ships" is a sensible option. "Autonomous" is made of many systems, and most of them are less related to the ship size, such as autonomous navigation, situation awareness, man-in-the-loop decision tree, operating sensors, deploying and recovering sensors, etc.

Deploying and recovering the USV/UUV itself becomes much difficult with size, but this can be tested by manned systems. I guess the only issue is "how small it can be", as we all know larger vehicles are more difficult to handle.

Drill, drill and drill. Or, try and error, and modify and then fry again. This is what is needed now. This is like in the early days of naval aviation, or submarine introduction. RN must establish "the best tactics" from scratch, and it will take decades.

History tells, the assets will grow fast. 7m to 9m, and then to 11-12 m. If exceeding this length, then everything goes into well-dock, up to ~30m. If exceeding this length, then they will be self-deployed (so called "unmanned corvettes").

Starting small, establish the first generation of USV/UUV warfare, and use it for 10-12 years. Then, move to 2nd generation. I think things must go this way.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by SW1 »

It you wanted a ship yard with a history of building small boat and patrol craft and then wanted to combine that to integrate future payload systems in the manned/unmanned/optionally manned arena and then provide a long term funding stream to allow its development and become a global centre of excellence in this disruptive tech I could think of a candidate.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by abc123 »

Colour me as unconvinced about future of these large unmanned vessels. Because of: a) communications and b) maintenance/repairs. OK, smaller "drones" for say MCM purposes, working relativly close to manned platforms, yes. But we sorta have that allready.
But anything more than that, nope. At least not in the forseeable future.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by shark bait »

Repulse wrote:start small and then move eventually to larger ships, like the Sea Hunter
Small is the only option the Navy can afford.

This is fine because for the time being this should not be a hardware development project, it's all about the software, and how the humans interact with the software. Do a good job at this step, and the software will be applicable to larger 'Sea Hunter' type boats.

A 'Sea Hunter' type boat should totally be in the Navy's sights, becuase they have to do something to offset the steady ASW decline (and more T26 just isn't going to happen).
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Deploying and recovering the USV/UUV itself becomes much difficult with size
It does, anything over 15m enters a different class, one that will be launched and operated from the shore, rather than one organic to the Frigate. Both are important to peruse I think.
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Repulse »

https://www.janes.com/article/92480/uk- ... capability

Good progress and nice to see the new work boats starting to come into service also. Wonder if you can fit one on the back of a B1 River?
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Repulse »

I’m wondering if we need a RN small boat thread to capture things like PROJECT VAHANA, but thought I’d leave it here for now as it’s relevant to my last post. The link below has a very interesting overview of the planned RN work boats.

https://www.ths.org.uk/documents/ths.or ... essed).pdf
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

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”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by SW1 »

About the size of large landing craft are these a future for MCM and ASW, should the navy be involved?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51451577

We've ordered 11 robots, different sizes. The smallest ones are 21m; the biggest are up to 37m," he told BBC News. "They will be capable of transoceanic journeys, wholly unmanned, controlled from control centres on land.
"Each of them will be fitted out with an array of sensors and equipment, but also their own capability to deploy tethered robots to inspect right down to the bottom of the ocean, 6,000m below the surface."
The boats will be used to search for missing objects, yes; but they'll also inspect pipelines, and survey bed conditions for telecoms cables and off-shore wind farms. They'll even to do freight, says Dan Hook who'll run the robot fleet for OI under the spin-out name of Armada.
"The 37m will actually take about 60 tonnes of deck cargo. We're looking at logistics services in places like the North Sea, running containers out to oil and gas platforms."
And with every USV equipped with a hull-mounted, multi-beam echo-sounder, the boats have the potential to add to the global seafloor database.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Lord Jim »

Does anyone one know if we are keeping tabs on where the USN is heading regarding MCM work. They are looking at being able to clear mines at speed (moving at speed of at least 20kts+) using multiple UUVs to clear access lanes through choke points and counted area denial actions by hostile nations. This is very different form the current practice of hunting mines almost one at a time currently practiced by most navies.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by shark bait »

A couple of boats like these is the future of sub hunting in the North.
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Ron5 »

This is more like it, better than those overgrown dinghies:

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/royal-n ... submarine/

Image

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Jake1992 »

I was just about to post this :lol:
It’s interesting I wonder if it’s being seen as a way to fill the sub shortage.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Ron5 »

I wondered what was taking folks so long. Major news in my opinion .

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Lord Jim »

I wouldn't call it Major news at the moment. Yes a £1m contract has been let but that is barely seed money. For anything to actually be delivered is going to cost substantially more and we already know how many MoD procurement programmes have zero funding even though that are listed as being a priority. Nowadays until a full production contract is let and funded, nothing is anything more than a good idea with possibilities.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

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Lord Jim wrote:I wouldn't call it Major news at the moment. Yes a £1m contract has been let but that is barely seed money. For anything to actually be delivered is going to cost substantially more and we already know how many MoD procurement programmes have zero funding even though that are listed as being a priority. Nowadays until a full production contract is let and funded, nothing is anything more than a good idea with possibilities.
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Unmanned... with a window :)
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Ron5 »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Unmanned... with a window :)
It's manned when its being tested :D

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

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Lord Jim
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Lord Jim »

The idea and possibilities are definitely in the right direction, my concern is that it will remain a possibility at best unless the Government opens its wallet and get multiple departments, who all could have a vested interest to allocate funding, or turn it into a multi national programme. We are still very good at ideas but unlike in the past seem to lack the will to finish what we start.

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