Royal Navy submarines 'could launch drones beneath the water to spy on Russian boats around British coast'
13:30, Saturday, 18 November, 2017
Royal Navy submarines could soon launch drones from beneath the waves to spy on Russian boats around the British coast. Sailors on the UK’s nuclear-armed submarines would be able to fire a canister that releases a drone once it hits the surface. In a new phase of robotic warfare, the 3.75 lb drones can then be operated from under the sea or made to act autonomously. The ‘Outrider’ drone, which is almost silent, feeds back images of enemy vessels to a high definition television so the submarine knows where to either avoid or target. It can spy from the sky for two-and-a-half hours and travel at up to 57mph. A Royal Navy source said: ‘We could hunt down any adversary with this piece of kit.’ Details of the drone’s development came after it emerged Russian submarine activity around Britain has increased tenfold in the past six years.