The British Navy announced that it had received the Maritime Demonstrator For Operational Experimentation, shortly named Madfox. It is an autonomous vessel that will go through one year of testing by the Navy’s Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator before being deployed to full service.
As per the latest, the British Military is upgrading all its branches with new and modernized systems and equipment. Their new plan includes a serious expansion of the fleet and a focused uplift of its rapid reaction forces, nuclear forces, force fighting cyber warfare, and most importantly, modernizing its robotic and autonomous systems.
The Madfox, the Navy’s latest vessel, is based on the Mast-13 autonomous boat and is going through its initial sea trials by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the Navy for the last one and a half years. It was also deployed in a joint operation with Royal Norwegian Navy, where the new vessel was integrated with HMS Albion for Autonomous Advance Force 3.0.
The new autonomous vessel, Madfox, has the capabilities of both remote and autonomous operations. As per the Royal Navy, it has the ability to navigate while following official traffic regulations autonomously. Its advanced sensors allow the boat to perform reconnaissance operations, surveillance patrols and will aid with in-harbor ship protection upon entering service.
“Later this year, NavyX will also accept an autonomous Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) into the inventory,” says Commander Antony Crabb, NavyX team leader. “This exciting work will help inform how systems are deployed and employed, from future vessels of Type 26 and Type 31 classes.”
You can watch the Navy’s latest autonomous vessel, Madfox going through initial testing in Portsmouth harbor.