Royal Navy focusing investment in AI, autonomous systems: UK admiralNews
September 13, 2023
LONDON, England. The Royal Navy is undergoing a significant transformation aimed at integrating technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems, Royal Navy First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key said during the keynote address at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2023 event this week.
"There is no room for second place," Key said. "Because where once the next change meant waiting a generation, we are now seeing several iterations of change within a generation."
Artificial Intelligence is at the heart of the Royal Navy's modernization strategy, Key said, arguing that AI has "exploded into common consciousness this year and is likely to reimagine our approach to warfare, creating dynamic new benchmarks for accuracy, efficiency, and lethality."
The Royal Navy is taking ambitious steps to integrate AI into its operations, he said.
"We are committed to understanding what it means for us to become an ‘AI ready’ organization, enabled to achieve consistent military advantage and effective deterrence," he said.
Key also highlighted advancements in autonomous technologies, including a crewless submersible under development and the recent flight of an uncrewed and autopiloted fixed-wing aircraft to and from HMS Prince of Wales at sea off Cornwall, which he described as a first for the Royal Navy.
Taking advantage of data will also be critical to the Royal Navy, he argued.
"This means being able to collect, analyze and fuse data about the operational theatre and battlespace, to generate genuine multi-domain, multi-dimensional situational awareness," Key said. "It means being able to do it at the front line, and being able to do it on time."