Accession Number : AD1032140

Title :   A Vision in Jeopardy: Royal Navy Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS)

Descriptive Note : Technical Report,09 Aug 2016,01 Apr 2017


Personal Author(s) : Spencer,Ashley C

Full Text :

Report Date : 31 Mar 2017

Pagination or Media Count : 78

Abstract : .Successive UK governments have recognized the enduring importance of maritime power for Britain as an island nation and have directed the Royal Navy (RN) to retain and develop a powerful, adaptable maritime warfighting force. The future multidomain maritime battlespace will be a competition between access and denial. Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) offer a means of ensuring the RNs future remains credible and expeditionary. The RN has a decade-long interest in MAS. Despite establishing a maritime test and evaluation unit in 2004, and twelve years of continuous investment and assessment, the RN has failed to deliver any sustainable MAS operational capability. A vision for MAS finally materialized in 2014. Yet, the vision statement remains without substance and reason, providing no direction and purpose to an important program. The decade-long hiatus serves as a valuable case study for why and how innovation and change can fail within the military. The program is failing for two specific reasons. Primarily, it originated from an aversive, the desire to avoid loss of life, rather than responsive requirement, the ability to enhance combat power that arises to fill a capability gap, or meet a defined threat. Second, it is failing due to a lack of direction and commitment internally. The individuals responsible for RN MAS delivery are not incentivized to deliver meaningful objectives, nor deliver to a strict deadline. There is no consensus within the RN that MAS will enhance fighting power. Meanwhile, the commercial sectors rate of technological progress and innovation in MAS is too rapid for the current military acquisition process. The result is decision making paralysis. Research will justify the relevance of MAS in the context of the UKs National Security Strategy, and the character of future conflict. The RNs current approach to MAS will be deconstructed and compared with historical military transformations to analyze the importance of vision

Descriptors :   united kingdom , MILITARY REQUIREMENTS , Autonomous Systems , NAVAL OPERATIONS , military strategy

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE