The Royal Navy is developing a new Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance ship (MROSS) to protect the UK against hostile actors and grow their understanding of maritime threats.
Promised to enter service by 2024, the surface vessel, with a crew of about 15 people, will conduct research into the nation's key deep-sea interests.
The ship was among the developments mentioned in the Integrated Review.
Undersea cables represent a significant portion of the UK's interests as they are a vital part of our global economy and trade.
Submarine warfare puts these cables at risk of sabotage and the Royal Navy continues to adapt to meet these threats.
The MROSS will be equipped with advanced sensors and will carry a number of remotely operated and autonomous undersea drones to gather data.
The sea vessels will also be able to support other defence tasks, including exercises and operations in the Arctic region, which the First Sea Lord recently told Forces News was of particular interest.
The new ship is being developed as part of a wholesale modernisation of the Armed Forces which will be unveiled in the Defence Command Paper on Monday.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace explained the reasoning behind the current expansion efforts.
"As the threat changes, we must change," he said.
"Our adversaries look to our critical national infrastructure as a key vulnerability and have developed capabilities that put these under threat.
"Some of our new investments will therefore go into ensuring that we have the right equipment to close down these newer vulnerabilities.
"Whether on land, sea or air, we must make sure that we maintain the UK resilience to those that attempt to weaken us," he added.
Cover image: MOD.