19 Mar 2019

Defence Secretary announces fund for battlefield apps

The Defence Secretary has announced a new fund to develop battlefield apps able to respond quickly to high-pressure scenarios.

The £30million fund will go into developing battlefield apps and software for the Armed Forces capable of being adapted to the specific demands of missions and commanding officers and being put on a central network in a matter of days. The money is being drawn from the Transformation Fund and will form part of the Modernising Defence programme.

The Platform for Rapid Exploitation of Digital Platforms (PREDA) is similar to technology already used by the US Air Force and US Marine Corps, which has already produced positive results. The adaptability of the technology means that it can be changed to accommodate new threats and changing conditions quickly, making it ideal for extreme environments like disaster response.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “From major natural disasters to the frontline on the battlefield, our Armed Forces are quick to react and even quicker to adapt. This technology matches that agility by enabling the creation of specialist digital applications that are tailored, secure and responsive.”

“By deploying this technology into the hands of our military, from sailors serving in the Caribbean, to pilots working in the Middle East, we will ensure we have a fighting force fit for the future, equipped with state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips.”

The technology is expected to be in use by the end of this year. The announcement follows a £66million fund for military robotics promised by the Defence Secretary last week.

The project is backed by Joint Forces Command and is expected to ultimately be rolled out across all departments of the armed forces. It will initially be used in decision making and command.

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