The Navy’s environmental protection department says climate change will only be a threat if the U.S. goes back to the “old ways” of drilling, fishing and hunting in the Arctic.
The department says in a statement that the U-Tap drill, for example, could destroy the habitat of whales and other marine mammals if it is not managed appropriately.
The U.K. Defense Ministry, which runs the Arctic Ocean drilling program, said in a separate statement that it has never conducted any drilling in the region.
The ministry did not provide further details on the safety of drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea.
In the Arctic, the UAVs used to protect military ships and aircraft have had to be constantly in the air to keep them safe from rogue submarines and other threats, the Defense Department said.