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BAE Systems to launch UK's only marine dedicated drone testing facility


 Image courtesy of BAE systems

 The facility, set to open at the end of the year, will be designed and delivered by the defence company.

Hampshire will soon be the home of the country’s first and only dedicated marine autonomous testing facility, thanks to a grant of £457,000 awarded to BAE, by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. 

The  company, along with partners ASV Global, Blue Bear Systems Research, Marine Electronic Systems, See Byte and University of Southampton have further added to the grant provided by the LEP which has, as a result, accumulated the funds to a respectable £1.5 million worth of investment

Commenting on the exciting announcement made at The Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth during the two day launch event, the Maritime Chairman of the Solent LEP Ian Millen Said:

 “The Solent is the heart of the UK’s marine and maritime sector and the assets we possess enable the region, its businesses and the UK economy to compete globally. He continues “From the port of Southampton, the most productive port in Europe to Portsmouth Naval base, Headquarters of the royal navy and soon to be home to the largest aircraft carriers in UK history, the Solent is used to making waves on an international stage. The key to this success has always been founded in innovation and through our investment to create the UK’s first autonomous systems testing service in the Solent the LEP will ensure that the area and its businesses, large and small, continue to be a driving force for UK innovation in years to come”

The space which is predicted to be ready this year will enable customers and clients alike to undertake trials and test systems in a safe and authentic environment. As well as a realistic atmosphere to that of the sea, the facility will also feature a secure maritime communications network and a mobile command and control centre which will possess the same advanced technology BAE systems provides to the Royal Navy.

The unique testing facility which has been made possible by the constant investment into the marine industry will add to the regions already elite status and is sure to see a return on investment as the only marine autonomous testing facility in the country. 

Would you like to know more about Hampshire's Marine and Maritime Sector? Find out more on our Marine page