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The Royal Navy integrates an experimental ship to test cutting-edge technology — MercoPress

The Royal Navy integrates an experimental ship to test cutting-edge technology

Monday, August 1, 2022 – 16:51 UTC


NavyX chose to name the ship after Patrick Blackett, a Nobel Laureate who made a major contribution to WWII (Picture: Royal Navy)

An experimental warship has been unveiled by the Royal Navy to test advanced technologies, including autonomous systems. The unique new test bed vessel – a 42m, 270 tonne vessel named after former Royal Navy sailor and Nobel Laureate Patrick Blackett – arrived in Portsmouth this week.

It was purchased for use by the Navy’s experimentation and innovation experts NavyX as a platform for testing and experimenting with new technologies.

With the addition of XV (Experimental Vessel) Patrick Blackett, NavyX will be able to conduct more sea trials to improve fleet operations and ensure the UK remains at the forefront of naval warfare.

XV Patrick Blackett will allow NavyX to experiment without needing to call on other Navy ships, many of which are permanently deployed away from UK waters. It will also offer the chance to work in close collaboration with industrial and academic partners.

Damen Shipyards in the Netherlands has won the contract for the test vessel which can reach speeds of 20 knots and has been modified to support NavyX operations. The ship has a crew of five Royal Navy personnel.

It will have a “plug and play” element to support the Navy’s new PODS (Persistently Operationally Deployed Systems) concept, meaning it can be tailored to the specific tests or experiments it is conducting, including drone and autonomous ship testing and AI decision making. .

Going forward, XV Patrick Blackett will take part in Royal Navy and NATO exercises, with the option of being upgraded with stand-alone technology.

Colonel Tom Ryall, head of NavyX, called the ship’s arrival a “pivotal moment” for NavyX’s ability to deliver results for the Royal Navy.

“It will give us greater flexibility to experiment with new military capabilities and accelerate new technologies, kits and concepts to the frontline,” Colonel Ryall said.

NavyX chose to name the vessel XV Patrick Blackett to honor the British physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1948. He served in the Royal Navy during World War I and made a major contribution to World War II in advising on military strategy and developing operational research – to be appointed as the Admiralty’s first Director of Operational Research.

First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sir Ben Key joined Patrick Blackett’s granddaughter, distinguished guests, friends and family in naming the XV Patrick Blackett .

Going forward, XV Patrick Blackett will take part in Royal Navy and NATO exercises, with the option of being upgraded with stand-alone technology.

Colonel Tom Ryall, head of NavyX, called the ship’s arrival a “pivotal moment” for NavyX’s ability to deliver results for the Royal Navy.

“It will give us greater flexibility to experiment with new military capabilities and accelerate new technologies, kits and concepts to the frontline,” Colonel Ryall said.