Royal Navy air squadron picks commercial drones for operations

Royal Navy’s 700X Naval Air Squadron have taken delivery of their first Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) mini unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The navy explained this move with the fact that these systems presented a cheap but able “eye in the sky” capability, meaning they may have utility in the Royal Navy.

Possible tasks include: ship superstructure / building surveys, public relations, ice/estuary navigation, perimeter security and overwatch of boarding operations.

Step in 700X NAS, who are currently classifying and testing a selection of systems while developing a training course for units wishing to use these systems in the defense aviation environment.

The 700X – X for ‘Xperimental’ – Naval Air Squadron is the Fleet Air Arm’s venture into the world of unmanned flight with ‘eyes in the sky’ pilotless aircraft.

The squadron has been established at RNAS Culdrose to oversee the deployment of ScanEagle remotely piloted air system (RPAS) and to pave the way for similar aircraft in the future.