The UK MoD unveiled a new development strategy on 19 October that focuses on science and technology efforts, placing innovation at the heart of defence activity for generations, according to official statements.
The Army Warfighting Experiment gives personnel the opportunity to test new and improved technologies for the next-generation of warfare. The government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Dame Angela McLean, launched the strategy against a backdrop of autonomous military devices, from UAVs that can fit in the palm of a hand to unmanned all-terrain surveillance vehicles commanded remotely from a CHALLENGER II tank and the new AJAX vehicle demonstrating ‘human-machine teaming’ with an unmanned all-terrain buggy.
Building on a rich national science and technology heritage, the strategy will focus on finding and funding the breakthroughs that will shape the future, ensuring the armed forces are equipped to meet tomorrow’s threats. It will also have a renewed focus on data, including capture and curation, which will underpin research to identify threat trends and deliver generation-after-next military hardware.
“We are in a very real race with our adversaries for technological advantage. What we do today will lay the groundwork for decades to come. Proliferation of new technologies demands our science and technology is threat driven and better aligned to our needs in the future,” stated Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace.
The Army Warfighting Experiment series champions a challenge-led approach and allows the British Army to push the boundaries of technology, testing a range of prototype systems by putting them in the hands of the user while giving invaluable feedback to suppliers. This is all done to ensure that British troops maintain a continuous advantage over adversaries on current and future battlefields.