First Unmanned Vessel UK Flagged


 Port Technologie

 15 Nov 2017 11.22am

An autonomous work boat, C-Worker 7, has become the first ever unmanned vessel to fly the UK flag. 

The UK Ship Register (UKSR) is part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and lays claim to being among the best performing flags in the major Port State Control regimes.

Although autonomous vessels are now being introduced to many fleets in both commercial and military sectors across the world, they are still relatively new in the maritime sector.

C-Worker 7 will be used for work such as subsea positioning, surveying and environmental monitoring.

It is owned by ASV, the UK a supplier of unmanned marine systems for military, security, offshore energy and scientific applications.

It can be used under direct control, semi-manned or completely unmanned, operating without the need for a ship on station or sea-bed anchoring.

ASV has 80 vessels deployed all over the world in the service of the oil and gas, scientific and defence sectors.

Read a related paper from Olaf Merk about how ports have a unique opportunity to lead the debate on such innovative policy responses to automation.

Doug Barrow, Director UK Ship Register said: “By supporting emerging technologies such as autonomous systems, we are helping to keep the UK at the forefront of the global maritime industry.

“The UK Flag is growing, as we have invested in resources to meet the demands of that growth. We have the support of the UK Government, and the wider UK maritime industries to continue our expansion.

“Vince Dobbin, Sales and Marketing Director of ASV Global said, ‘We are delighted to have achieved the first registration of a semi-autonomous vessel for maritime operations.

“The MCA has been critical in enabling ASV to reach this pivotal milestone recognising the prominence of unmanned systems in the maritime environment.”

Read more: Unmanned surface and underwater vessels will dominate maritime activity over the next decade, according to a report on the future of autonomous maritime systems.