Autonomous Versus Drone Ships



The first action of the newly elected Senior President of Naval Defence Consulting, Commodore Garry Beauvoir, is to define the strategy for future goals in autonomous and Drone Shipping for both Merchant and Defence vessels.

Commodore Garry Beauvoir remarked at a recent Defence Presentation for Autonomous Ships, that the terms ‘autonomous’ and ‘drone’ shipping have become somewhat clouded and confused in the public mind.

‘Autonomous ship’

A ‘totally autonomous’ ship would sail minus any operational officers or crew.  At-sea navigational decisions remove all human decision making and would be made by the Navigational & Management Computer systems, interfaced with all electronic navigational equipment, with regular and comprehensive data reporting to the ship operator’s Control Center located anywhere in the world.  We can speculate that such a ship would sail from an offshore anchorage of its port to the offshore anchorage of its destination port, totally unmanned.  A skeleton crew would embark at the arrival port anchorage to safely navigate the ship into and out of port.

‘Drone ship’

A drone ship, on the other hand, while also sailing without qualified officers and crew, would be remotely controlled from the Control Centre of the shipping company, (operating in conjunction with the ship’s Navigational & Management computer).

From the shipping Control Centre, a drone ship/fleet may be group controlled by qualified senior navigation officers and Marine Electronic / Electrical / Mechanical Engineers.  Control of each vessel would be dependent on the constant flow of critical data fed from the vessel to the Control Centre.


  • As we make advances in autonomous/drone vessels the shortfalls with the current Maritime broadband communications and the considerably elevated operational importance becomes apparent, because of the volume of data required to be constantly transferred.
  • Naval Defence is presently involved with projects ensuring future proofing in the area of maritime broadband communications and Civil/Defence Control Centre designs.
  • In order to service the Defence Market in a dedicated manner, NDC.O’s partners created a new venture with former Navy and an I.T. specialists to create Naval Defence (NDC.O) a Strategic Defence Company focused on Maritime Defence and Autonomous Shipping consulting and the development of Defence Systems.

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Source: OpenPR


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