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Royal Navy captains could control their ships remotely using new augmented reality headsets

Cutting-edge augmented reality and artificial intelligence which will modernise the capability of combat systems on warships has today been unveiled.

The £20m investment by BAE systems will see technology developed to help Royal Navy personnel to ‘respond more readily to evolving threats.’

The technology includes Augmented Reality (AR) glasses which will allow an Officer of the Watch, who is responsible for the ship’s safety, to work outside of the operations room and still be able to see tactical situation data and other vital information from anywhere on the ship. 

The £20m investment by BAE systems will see technology developed to help Royal Navy personnel to ‘respond more readily to evolving threats’

Augmented Reality 

Part of the investment will see the integration of AR into the bridges of naval ships, through products such as wearable AR glasses. 

This will allow an Officer of the Watch, who is responsible for the ship’s safety, to work outside of the operations room and still be able to see tactical situation data and other vital information from anywhere on the ship.

This ability could result in information such as the location of friendly vessels or other data being overlaid onto a real world view, giving crews enhanced situational awareness. 

The use of augmented reality would allow the officer to spend more time maintaining a ‘heads-up’ visual lookout without the need to refer to a console or rely on clarifications from his crew – instead, taking control of situations with increased effectiveness and adaptability.

Source: BAE 

Frank Cotton, Head of Technology, Combat Systems, BAE Systems, said: ‘These technologies have the potential to transform maritime warfare and greatly increase the situational awareness and efficiency of crews on board Royal Navy ships. 

‘Our combat systems expertise and investment in future technologies will ensure we continue to deliver innovative capabilities to navies.’ 

Part of the investment will see the integration of AR into the bridges of naval ships, through products such as wearable AR glasses. 

They would allow an Officer of the Watch to spend more time maintaining a ‘heads-up’ visual lookout without the need to refer to a console or rely on clarifications from his crew

Engineers are also implementing artificial intelligence aids into combat systems, providing crew with the most important information as well as recommended courses of action. 

BAE says the technology will give crews the information they need to track, analyse and respond to threats in combat, as well as coordinating resources in other operations including intelligence gathering and disaster relief.

BAE Systems has developed leading combat systems expertise for more than 30 years and its technologies are used across the Royal Navy¿s surface fleet

BAE Systems has developed leading combat systems expertise for more than 30 years and its technologies are used across the Royal Navy’s surface fleet

Artificial intelligence 

Engineers are also implementing artificial intelligence aids into combat systems, allowing their users to quickly process data and reach crucial decisions faster, providing a vital advantage in combat. 

Artificial intelligence aids will provide crew with the most important information as well as recommended courses of action.

BAE Systems has developed leading combat systems expertise for more than 30 years and its technologies are used across the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.

These essential systems give crews the information they need to track, analyse and respond to threats in combat, as well as coordinating resources in other operations including intelligence gathering and disaster relief.

Source: BAE 

This comes at the Ministry of Defence said the Royal Navy will be also able to provide three times the protection to Britain’s fishing fleet post-Brexit after a decision to axe three ships was reversed.

HMS Tyne, HMS Mersey and HMS Severn, which currently support the Fishery Protection Squadron, were in the process of being decommissioned.

But, speaking during a visit to Tyneside, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the Batch 1 Offshore Patrols Vessels (OPVs) will be retained for at least the next two years in a move the Ministry of Defence said would ‘bolster the UK’s ability to protect our fishing fleet as well as our shores’.

It said the Royal Navy currently provided around 200 days of fishery protection a year and the announcement meant the capacity would increase to 600 days a year if needed.

Each ship will operate from its home city – Newcastle, Liverpool and Cardiff – to boost rapid response in British waters.

The ships have also been used in anti-smuggling and counter-terrorism work, and frequently escorted foreign vessels, including those from Russia, through the English Channel.

Part of the investment will see the integration of AR into the bridges of naval ships, through products such as wearable AR glasses (similar to the ones pictured)

Part of the investment will see the integration of AR into the bridges of naval ships, through products such as wearable AR glasses (similar to the ones pictured)

This graphic from BAE systems shows how a future operations room could look 

This graphic from BAE systems shows how a future operations room could look 

Speaking on board HMS Tyne, Mr Williamson said: ‘Britain’s patrol vessels are essential to protecting our waters, our fisheries and our national security.

‘Safeguarding the future of these three ships in the Royal Navy will ensure we can respond quickly to incidents at any time, further protecting our waters as we exit the EU.

‘By forward-operating these ships from their affiliated locations across the country, including the Tyne, it will not only allow them to react quickly, but also strengthen the bonds between the Royal Navy and local communities.’

Last month HMS Tyne monitored a Russian frigate as it passed through the English Channel and in 2017 HMS Mersey returned from a 48,000-mile deployment which included a £12 million drugs bust off Nicaragua.

The announcement came during the Defence Secretary’s visit to Newcastle, where he also revealed the name of the fifth frigate in Britain’s Type 26 class of anti-submarine warships as HMS Newcastle.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson on board HMS Tyne where he announced the future of HMS Tyne, HMS Mersey and HMS Severn has been secured

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson on board HMS Tyne where he announced the future of HMS Tyne, HMS Mersey and HMS Severn has been secured

River Class patrol vessels of the Fishery Protection Squadron, HMS Severn, HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey exercising off the coast of Cornwall. The Royal Navy will be able to provide three times the protection to Britain's fishing fleet post-Brexit after a decision to axe the three ships was reversed 

River Class patrol vessels of the Fishery Protection Squadron, HMS Severn, HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey exercising off the coast of Cornwall. The Royal Navy will be able to provide three times the protection to Britain’s fishing fleet post-Brexit after a decision to axe the three ships was reversed 

Mr Williamson said: ‘I am also delighted to be able to continue to strengthen the bond to Tyneside today, by announcing one of Britain’s future world-beating Type 26 warships will be called HMS Newcastle.’

It will be built on the Clyde and will protect the UK’s nuclear deterrent and aircraft carriers.

HMS Newcastle will also be joined by her sister ship HMS Sheffield, whose name was announced by Defence Minister Stuart Andrew.

Asked if the announcement was a sign to the rest of Europe, pro-Brexit Mr Williamson said: ‘It’s a very clear message that Britain is an incredibly ambitious nation and our armed forces are incredibly ambitious.

‘We’re going to be protecting our interests – that’s why we have the patrol vessels – but also we want to be expanding our interests and expanding our global presence.

‘That’s why we’re going from three to eight.

‘You couldn’t have a more clear and significant increase.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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