Royal Marines and unmanned vehicles have been involved in an exercise.

Alpha Company of 40 Commando took part in Exercise Commando Warrior alongside 1 Assault Group Royal Marines at Tregantle Beach, in Cornwall.

According to the Royal Navy:

“While advancing towards the beach, the marines were being supported by an unmanned boat cruising the coastline looking for enemy forces both on land and at sea, using its on board cameras and sensors.

Meanwhile, a small Unmanned Air System, similar to a drone, was looking from the skies for any signs of danger and two Unmanned Ground Vehicles were providing overwatch and fire support if necessary.”

The MoD say that the exercise was about linking all of these unmanned systems to provide commanders with information to help their tactical decision-making.

“The information was also passed to a separate command and control facility at the 3 Commando Brigade headquarters.

With the autonomous vehicles looking on, the Royal Marines raided the beach, climbed the cliffs, took out ‘enemy’ forces patrolling and abseiled back to the sandy shore.”

Commando Warrior was the first time Royal Marines have used the autonomous vehicles during tactical action.

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Will (@guest_462645)
2 years ago

The Armed UGV on the cover image looks very nice. I do wonder though if that missile system is Anti-Tank, Anti-Air or just laser guided (so different types of targets). If anyone has a link to a website about it I would greatly appreciate it.

Rfn_Weston (@guest_462650)
2 years ago
Reply to  Will

I’ll be honest… it doesn’t look particularly resilient to small arms fire. Just an observation. Still, good to see progress.

Matt C
Matt C (@guest_462667)
2 years ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Could be a good system for deploying MANPADs

Steve (@guest_462736)
2 years ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

I would guess this would track behind the front line and provide fire support and so outside of most small arms fire. How much it frees up troops is a more interesting questions considering it needs a guy with a tablet to control, which means at least one soldier busy with that and not able to fight in their own right. I guess it potentially means the forward forces have heavier fire power available but how do you get it into combat as won’t fit inside APVs. Wouldn’t it be better to just arm the troop carriers with better fire… Read more »

Callum (@guest_462829)
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Its the first generation of UGVs, it’s not going to be perfect. It’s more about building experience and developing operating doctrine with drone systems than actually being combat ready.

Saying that though, platforms like this do have several advantages over simply upgunning the troop carrier. Primarily it’s about footprint: you can deploy one of these in places a large vehicle would be too vulnerable or unable to go, like dense urban areas or mountainous terrain for example.

Steve (@guest_462833)
2 years ago
Reply to  Callum

I think at the minute it’s about showing we are investing in UGV to remain relevent and actual capability needs come secondary.

What interests me is I saw this news story across multiple online news sites and not one had a picture of the UGVs actually doing anything, all the pictures were of troops running through water etc.

DaveyB (@guest_462870)
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve

With armed unmanned vehicles you will always need a man in the loop, as that’s required by law, i.e. the final decision to pull the trigger remains with a human not a machine (for the moment). That being said the UGV pictured would be good for providing over-watch and protecting the flanks. So rather than a whole platoon protecting your flank a couple of these manned by a pair of troopers would be useful. I don’t think it would be that good for advancing to contact, as it only has one optical sensor mounted next to the 50 cal, so… Read more »

Subatomic (@guest_462845)
2 years ago
Reply to  Will

Tommy 5 is alive !