The Royal Navy is developing a new multi-role ocean surveillance ship (MROSS) in an effort to protect the UK against ‘hostile actors’ and grow its understanding of maritime threats.
Scheduled to come into service by 2024, the newbuild will be a surface vessel.
It will carry a crew of around 15 people who will conduct research to help the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence protect the undersea critical national infrastructure and keep UK lives and livelihoods secure from threat.
Undersea cables are vital to the global economy and communications between governments. Submarine warfare presents a particular risk of sabotage to undersea cable infrastructure – an existential threat to the UK.
Specifically, the ship will be fitted with advanced sensors and will carry a number of remotely operated and autonomous undersea drones which will collect data to help protect our people and way of life with operations in UK and international waters.
The vessels will also be able to support with other defence tasks, including exercises and operations in the Arctic which will become an increasingly contested area. The cables are crucial to government-to-government communications and the new capability will protect the interests of the UK and its partners and allies.
The new ship is being developed as part of a wholesale modernisation of the Armed Forces. New projects like the MROSS are part of a drive to reduce our vulnerability to threats, including terrorism, hostile nations and serious and organised crime.