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Unmanned Marine Vehicles

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 37663, tabled on 19 May 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect of the speed of development of unmanned underwater vehicles on the capability of Trident submarines to evade detection.

Answered on

25 May 2016

The submarines that carry our trident missiles will not be rendered obsolete by new technologies, including developments in unmanned underwater vehicle technology. We dedicate considerable resource to horizon scanning to assess the threats from emerging capabilities and will apply any necessary mitigations throughout the lifetime of both the Vanguard Class and the future Successor Class of nuclear deterrent submarines, to combat these future challenges. We assess that the ocean will remain a complex and challenging environment in which through the conduct of large scale anti-submarine warfare our adversaries may seek to threaten our submarines, despite advancements in technologies.