Defence contractors have started utilising small drone aircraft in order to survey Royal Navy ships, starting with Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Small camera equipped drones use high-definition imagery to assess the material state of the vessel and remove the need for scaffolding and cherry-pickers meaning surveys can be carried out in hours rather than days and with fewer people.
Diamond’s commanding officer, Commander Marcus Hember, said:
“I am delighted Diamond could assist in such an important trial. The Royal Navy is an advanced high-tech service and the ability to reduce time and cost during these maintenance periods, as well as allowing ships to diagnose their own defects at sea, will enhance the operational capability and flexibility of the navy deployed worldwide.”