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Royal Navy Receives Trials Vessel for Innovation Project NavyX

The Royal Navy has taken delivery of trials vessel XV Patrick Blackett to join its Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator project NavyX.

As part of the initiative, the service is developing, testing, and trialing cutting-edge technologies that will give the force a multi-environment maritime advantage.

The arrival of the vessel will also decrease NavyX requests from official British warships.

‘Pivotal Moment’

Despite being commissioned under the Blue Ensign, XV Patrick Blackett is slated to join the navy and even NATO for exercises.

The ship is expected to be at full operation by autumn this year.

“The arrival of this vessel is a pivotal moment for NavyX’s ability to deliver output, and is a step change for the Royal Navy,” NavyX Head Col. Tom Ryall said.

“She will give us greater flexibility to experiment with novel military capabilities, iterate and accelerate new technology, kit and concepts for the benefit of both the Royal Navy and industry,” he continued.

XV Patrick Blackett

The XV Patrick Blackett is a modified Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 4008 developed by Dutch shipyard Damen. It has a 140-square-meter deck that “provides a large, unobstructed area for [drones, autonomous underwater vehicles], and other cutting edge technology.”

The vessel’s internal space had an original capacity of up to 100 personnel but has been converted into an operations center and meeting room.

The ship is powered by four caterpillar engines, giving it a top cruise speed of over 20 knots (30 miles/48 kilometers per hour) and a range of 1,200 nautical miles (1,380 miles/2,222 kilometers).

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