BAE Systems has received a potential $598,000 grant from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership to design and develop an unmanned maritime systems testing service in the U.K.
BAE said Sunday it will collaborate with Blue Bear Systems Research, ASV Global, SeeByte, Marine Electronic Systems and the University of Southampton on the new service that will be launched later this year.
The new service aims to help clients test unmanned aerial vehicles, boats and autonomous sensors in the Solent strait and will use a mobile command-and-control facility and a maritime communications network to facilitate unmanned trials.
“Autonomous and unmanned systems are widely regarded as a vital technology for the future, but there is a great deal of work to be done if we are to unlock its true potential and understand how they are best integrated into wider systems,” said Frank Cotton, combat systems head of technology at BAE.
Cotton noted that the proposed service would help defense, academia and commercial sectors explore new opportunities to use and advance its development in support of unmanned and autonomous platforms.
Solent LEP and other partner institutions have invested approximately $2 million on the new testing service.