Defence secretary announces new technology for Royal Navy

Millions of pounds is to be invested into developing new technology designed to help the Royal Navy manage the threat of mines and similar devices.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson announced this week that he will be setting aside £75 million for two new autonomous mine-hunter vessels, as well as to create a new facility where military and academic personnel can test innovations in equipment.

The mine-hunters will be fitted with cutting-edge sonar that will allow them to operate at higher range, speed and accuracy in the Gulf than their predecessors.

It is hoped this will not only improve safety for sailors, but also ensure the Royal Navy can evolve to meet what Mr Williamson called developing underwater threats.

He pointed out that technology is moving faster than ever and so the armed forces must have what they need to keep them and the wider world safe.

"Today's announcement will not only allow the Royal Navy to rapidly harness dynamic, cutting-edge equipment at speed, but also ensure they can outpace adversaries both on the water and the sea floor," the defence secretary added.

The news comes after it was also announced this year that three Royal Navy Defence Transformation Fund programmes are to be put into action, the first of which was the accelerated Concept and Development Phase for two new Littoral Strike Ships in February.

Mr Williamson has been especially interested in technology since his appointment and has fast-tracked a number of new projects designed to transform defence to fit with the 21st century.

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