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UK internet cables defended from Vladimir Putin's submarines with 'cutting edge' drone

Daily Express logo Daily Express 01/12/2022 Jack Walters
UK internet cables defended from Vladimir Putin's submarines with 'cutting edge' drone © Getty UK internet cables defended from Vladimir Putin's submarines with 'cutting edge' drone

A drone submarine will protect Britain's internet cables from attack, a report has claimed. The unmanned craft can cover 1,000 miles over seven days, according to the Sun.

The 17-tonne drone submarine is battery-powered, 12 metres long and is being built by a technology firm in Plymouth.

It will be deployed by the Royal Navy as part of £15million Project Cetus.

However, the vessel could be deployed around the world as it can be shipped in a sea container.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the Sun: "In order to meet the growing threats to our underwater infrastructure, the Royal Navy needs to be ahead of the competition with cutting-edge capabilities."

Mr Wallace was in Rome yesterday to meet his Italian counterpart.

The Defence Secretary met with Guido Crosetto on board ITS Duilio and HMS Albion.

The pair discussed industry collaboration, European security and Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The unmanned craft's development comes after a military chief warned that there had been a huge rise in Russian submarine and underwater activity in the past 20 years.

Mr Wallace was in Rome yesterday meeting his Italian counterpart. © Getty Mr Wallace was in Rome yesterday meeting his Italian counterpart.

Admiral Tony Radakin claimed such activity poses a major threat and added that damage to internet cables could be seen as an "act of war".

However, the Kremlin is currently grappling with how to repress opponents from within Russia.

In a recent intelligence update, the Ministry of Defence said: "In July 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved amendments to the 2012 'Foreign Agents Law', which has been widely used to repress opponents of the regime. The new measures are scheduled to come into force on December 1, 2022.

"The 2012 law defined 'foreign agents' as individuals or organisations who have received financial support from abroad.

Admiral Tony Radakin claimed such activity poses a major threat © Getty Admiral Tony Radakin claimed such activity poses a major threat

"The amendments will extend the definition to those which are merely under undefined 'influence or pressure' of foreign actors.

"The Ministry of Justice will also have the power to publish the personal details and addresses of designated 'foreign agents', almost certainly placing them at risk of harassment.

"The new laws will further extend the repressive powers available to the Russian state.

"This continues a trend since Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, but which has dramatically accelerated since the invasion of Ukraine."

The MoD added: "The Kremlin is likely acting pre-emptively to prevent greater domestic dissent as the conflict remains unresolved and increasingly impacts Russians' everyday lives."

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