Trials in Norway saw unmanned equipment tested in an operational setting for the first time, say the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy say that Royal Marines small boat specialists 47 Commando have been in Norway working alongside HMS Albion, the Royal Navy’s autonomous accelerator NavyX and the Office for the Chief Technology Officer to see how the kit could work during operations.

“Exercise Autonomous Advance Force put unmanned boat Mast 13, heavy lift drone from Malloy, remotely-piloted air system Puma and the Remus unmanned sub-surface drone through their paces in the harsh conditions of the Arctic. An artificial intelligence system to control all of this tech was integrated in amphibious ship Albion, with industry partners welcomed on board to implement and oversee the system trials.

The successful four-day exercise saw these technologies make their debut in an operational setting. It was the first time an unmanned surface vessel has been operated from the dock in HMS Albion and the first time 700X Naval Air Squadron have flown Puma from a Royal Marines landing craft.”


Colonel Chris Haw, commanding officer of Plymouth-based 47 Commando, said:

“We wanted to operationalise the technology, both in an operational environment and as part of a NATO deployment. This exercise also enabled us to also integrate technology as far as possible into a Royal Navy warship.


Integration of autonomy equipment is a key strand in the development of Future Commando Force and the Littoral Strike concept. The future vision is of this type of system being used to control multiple assets in different domains. This technology has the potential to be revolutionary within the naval service.”

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Supportive Bloke

Makes you realise what a very, very special resource the Albions actually are.

Much broader uses than landing on contested beaches Juno/Gold style.

And also the command and control space and kit for a whole battle space.

Very impressive and flexible beasts.


Agreed the Albions are import assets.

It is also good to see the RN moving to operationalise this technology as they have be ‘monitoring’ it for quite sometime. It seems that the NavyX initiative is having a positive impact and generating an operational benefit for the investment.

I would like to see larger UAV’s being tested, so it will be interesting to see what they put on HMS Prince of Wales next year.

Steve Taylor

“…700X Naval Air Squadron have flown Puma from a Royal Marines landing craft.”

Does he mean a Puma flying from an RN LPD?


No,the Puma mentioned is an UAV as per the photo.

Steve Taylor

Right. Thanks.

James Fennell

Puma is the US Army’s replacement for Desert Hawk. Also used by the USN and US SF. 700X have been operating a few since 2014.

Steve Taylor