Royal Marines responsible for guarding the UK’s nuclear weapons and submarines have been testing drones and robots at Jackton Police College in East Kilbride near Glasgow.

The Ministry of Defence say that 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines are the last line of defence protecting the nation’s Trident missiles and the machines which carry them.

“These closed-quarters combat exercises – in the indoor and urban training facilities at Jackton – is part of keeping the commandos razor sharp for their operations, but was also an opportunity to look at the new technology that could give a further edge to their missions. As well as drones for battlefield analysis, the commandos used a ‘Throwbot’, which is a small remotely-operated robot that can be thrown in to a potentially dangerous area and quickly give a picture of what is happening on the other side, so the marines can make a clear decision on the way to tackle the threat.”


“The facilities at Jackton Police College allowed us to develop a concept for the use of the Remotely Piloted Aerial System and figure out how we would integrate it within an urban environment,” said Captain James Spencer RM, Second-in-Command of P-Squadron, 43 Commando.

“Such technology is a game changer in the face of a threat.  It informs commanders and troops on the ground and allows them to make tactical actions swiftly and effectively.”

43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines is a 550-strong unit based at HM Naval Base Clyde in Argyll and Bute. You can read more here.

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This is the sort of technology infantry really need to start being issued and training with ontopnof their current kit, but because it is developing and improving so fast I can’t see mod commuting to it until it is actually required. Its like all of the optics, night vision and lasers that became standard issue once things kicked off in Iraq and Afghanistan when the SA80 was only equipped with the same standard site for 20 years before it.


I hate typing on my phone with no edit functionality. Please add it back its so frustrating that it’s not available.


They have been using these types of drones in Ukraine for years, bought cheaply from Ebay. It was in Ukraine where there first used the drone to drop a grenade and the suicide drone packed with C4 and ball bearings.


Ukraine have some smart people they are an underrated power in my opinion, they also make some great millitary gear, they have a new export tank also Not sure how good it is though but it look good and it’s fast. They make loads in Ukraine and jet engines and prop engines.

Nigel Collins

Eastern Europeans have some very smart people indeed.

“US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is teaming up with Czech-based virtual reality (VR) firm VRgineers on a new flight training and simulation programme based on digital imagery that will be all but indistinguishable from the real world.”


It is based on the T80 … So whilst it may we be innovative in some areas, its based on ready made technogy.

In this respect I believe the Israeli Merkeva is based on the Centurion. (?)


Sounds very effective to be honest.


This seems very dangerous if terrorists want to kill civilians.


Suicide drone – otherwise known as man in the loop guided missile (improvised / cheap) 🙂

Point is they are cheap and can be a deadly DIY weapon with reach, a serious threat particularly against soft targets or as part of an insurgency or low intensity campaign.

Fitted with a camera feed and being able to look around corners would be useful as well.

They do have the additional ability to land and wait for a target to come into range as well!

Flexible little bits of kit.

Cheers CR


You make fair enough points about the rifle, but all 5.56mm rifles, of any stripe, are not very long range. They are close quarter weapons. What nobody likes is an artillery or mortar shell dropping on them.

In the long term we will be moving to 6.8mm. I say long term because it seems all rifles seem to have a long gestation period. The longer time goes on, the more far sighted the EM-2 was.


Are they getting body cameras and gps locators too?

David Barry

Never realised 43 was so large in numbers. Good to hear about the technology.


Me neither, so many resources go into protecting the deterrent. Not just Astutes and ASW frigates but so much more besides.

Daniele Mandelli

Large numbers of MoD Police too. Both the Specialist Escort Group and the police division based at Faslane/Coulport. The deterrent is well protected.

Mark B

Good. Like them or loathe them Drones are part (only part) of the future. Find out what they are good at and add them to the arsenal. One advantage surely is they are cheap, quick to build and easy to deploy.


I suspect they will be used as an excuse to cut staff and its only a matter of time before there is a security breach due it.

They should be considered as a force multiplier not as a force replacer, but we know that will never happen.

Mark B

If this tech saves on staff it will be a first!

All tech tends to increase the number of people needed. There will be weaknesses in the kit just like all kit it’s just a case of keeping ahead of the game.

There will also always be a side to war fighting which is not about tech and there will never be enough people to do it!


They don’t even look like RN Marines anymore with the new helmets and rifles. lol


Must see these articles every couple of years. Never saw any of it in service besides black hornet drones which we lost half of in a mild breeze.

Issue it or don’t bother publishing anything about it.

john melling

The HM Naval Base Clyde Facebook page shows the RM and a few more pictures of them playing with stuff.
That remote control THROWBOT looks an interesting idea.
Throwing it through windows into rooms to view threats!
Wonder if it might be able to be built strong enough to be catapulted further?