It's an 'absolute inevitability' that military drones will fly from HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to its commanding officer

Kieran Corcoran
Captain Jerry Kyd HMS Queen Elizabeth

Getty Images


  • Military drones will fly from HMS Queen Elizabeth, according to Captain Jerry Kyd.
  • He said the monster ship is "evolvable" and well placed to take advantage of new technology.


Britain's newest aircraft carrier will soon be home to military drones, its commanding officer has told Business Insider.

Captain Jerry Kyd, the Royal Navy officer in charge of HMS Queen Elizabeth, described naval drone warfare as an "absolute inevitability" for his ship, and the British armed forces as a whole "in the near future."

In an interview in the aircraft hangar of the new £3.5 billion ($4.6 billion) warship, Kyd described the Queen Elizabeth as an "evolvable" platform, which could easily accommodate drones, and that the Royal Navy is "looking very closely" at adopting the technology.

HMS Queen Elizabeth returns to Portsmouth after sea trials.

Getty Images

He told Business Insider: "What this ship is, is a platform. And she's big, she's evolvable, and absolutely we're looking very closely at unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and drone technology.

"It's an absolute inevitability that they're going to be embarked on this ship in the near future.

X-47B combat drone USS George Bush

Reuters

"The Americans are well down the road of operating UAVs from their aircraft carriers - we operate UAVs in the Royal Naval fleet already.

"So I think: Look at the size and scale of this ship, and it doesn't take much imagination to work out that she'll be used in that area too."

Kyd spoke to Business Insider two days before HMS Queen Elizabeth was formally commissioned into the Royal Navy by Queen Elizabeth II in a grand ceremony.

Captain Jerry Kyd interview Business Insider

Business Insider/David Ibekwe

He referenced the close co-operation between the US Navy and the Royal Navy, which he said would increase with the return of British carrier capability (the Royal Navy has been without a carrier since HMS Ark Royal was decommissioned in 2011).

Kyd said: "But I think this ship ushers in an era of even closer co-operation with the United States, and indeed we're looking forward to hosting US Marine Corps lightning jet fighters on here in due course."

It raises the prospect that the Queen Elizabeth could host US planes before British ones are in place.

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