Thursday 24 June 2021 10:53 am

UK Navy boasts ‘battle winning’ drone, day after Ukraine defence deal

The Royal Navy has today boasted how its new drone, which can monitor an area larger than Greater Manchester, has come ‘leaps and bounds’ during ‘amphibious assaults’.

Testing the airborne surveillance, known as Puma, in the Baltic and the North Sea, lieutenant Ash Loftus and Puma flight commander said the Navy’s tech is advancing into “battle-winning” territory.

“Our ability to support Royal Navy units afloat, as well as Royal Marine troops ashore, has really begun to be developed into a battle-winning capability.

“Our ability to integrate with manned aviation, whilst operating alongside Royal Marine Commandos, flying from their own landing craft, gives the ground commander the edge they need to win the fight.”

The Puma is flown by two junior sailors, an air engineering technician and naval airman aircraft handler with a flight commander that acts as an air traffic controller.

The Puma’s ability to support warships at sea is being developed quickly, the Navy said, adding that it will give ships a better understanding of what is around them.

Ukraine and the UK are good friends’

It comes a day after the UK signed an agreement with Ukraine to bolster its naval capabilities and Russia claimed it fired ‘warning shots’ at a British destroyer ship off the coast of the Crimea peninsula.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said: “Ukraine and the UK are good friends and allies. Today’s Memorandum gives a new impetus to our co-operation in naval industry and will facilitate further development of the Ukrainian Navy.”

The deal will see joint production of eight fast missile warships and a new naval base on the Black Sea as the primary fleet base for Ukraine and a new base on the Sea of Azov.

The UK has also denied Russia reports, foreign secretary Dominic Raab claiming they were “predictably inaccurate”.

Raab told reporters in Singapore earlier today that “no shots were fired at HMS Defender”.