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The MoD in London, through the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), is seeking innovative and novel solutions to assist military drone operators in improving utility in challenging and complex urban operations.

This cross-departmental requirement between DASA and DE&S is designed for the rapid exploitation of technology and is the first of its kind. Up to £900,000 (€978,000) is to be made available for successful proposals that can help overcome three challenges.

The first challenge is development of an optimised UAS suitable for use in urban environments. The second is to develop a human-controlled lethal payload that could integrate with the platform defined the first challenge and the third is to demonstrate a full UAS with an integrated payload. The objective is to find ideas that reduce mental strain on operators and improve performance – but solutions must ensure they remain under full human control at all times.

It is envisaged that these innovations could in future contribute to a new capability that can remove service personnel and military dogs from complex and dangerous urban warfare situations in which their lives are put at significant risk.

The competition will be run using a framework agreement, to be considered for which suppliers must complete the relevant paperwork by 15 October.

The increasing likelihood that the use of drones in urban environments will rise sharply in the next decade is leading MoD to investigate how to make them more efficient, effective and user-friendly. (Photo: Crown copyright)

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