Trial of Unmanned Aerial System in a Maritime Environment
(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued Dec. 12, 2012)
The Times also reports that Britain will consider flying an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) from the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

This is a misleading representation of the evidence given by the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne to yesterday's Westminster Hall debate on unmanned aerial vehicle deployment.

Mr Dunne said: "We are about to embark on a concept of use demonstration trial to see whether for surveillance purposes a maritime system could be deployed in the future. It is not presently anything past a demonstration phase. I think it is perhaps not a surprise that we are thinking of some trialling, some capability for future use."

This statement refers to an ongoing trial of a small, generic, UAS platform in the maritime environment. The trial involves flying the platform from a Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel to assess the capability of a small surveillance UAS in the maritime environment and assist the MOD to become a better informed customer for any potential future requirement.

An initial flight from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel has taken place and was successful.

This trial does not involve aircraft carriers, is not assessing whether the UAS could be flown from aircraft carriers specifically, and there is no current programme for this system to be bought.

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