Royal Marines are trialling drones to help support operations, say the Royal Navy.
Remotely operated systems will be used to provide Royal Marines Commandos on the ground with ammunition, fuel, medical supplies or food and water, as well as intelligence of ‘enemy’ movements and activity.
According to a Royal Navy news release:
“The two-week workout in and off Cyprus – dubbed Exercise Autonomous Advance Force 3.0 – is one of the key set-piece events on this autumn’s amphibious deployment by the Royal Navy. Lessons learned will be used both to develop the tactics and determine the equipment needed to turn the Royal Marines into the Future Commando Force.
The tip-to-toe overhaul of the Corps sees Royal Marines returning to their commando roots as small, stealthy raiding teams who strike from the sea, aided by the latest tech. Some of the equipment and tactics were tested in Norway earlier this year. The Mediterranean allows similar experimentation – but in warmer surroundings.”
“Cyprus gives us a superb opportunity to test the equipment and concepts of the UK’s Future Commando Force, whilst maintaining our excellence at the basics,” said Colonel Chris Haw, Commanding Officer of 47 Commando Raiding Group Royal Marines, leading the exercise.
“We are putting this technology into the hands of Royal Marines and sailors and integrating it both at sea and on land.”
Working with defence tech company QinetiQ, 47 Commando’s trials squadron will test a number of drones, including operating between Royal Navy vessels and the shore for the first time.
“Royal Marines from 40 Commando will use a live data feed from a drone for surveillance and reconnaissance training, plus test software that will assist communications, gathering intelligence, navigating, and data sharing in challenging environments.”