Information Warrior 2018 takes aim at maritime communications

Information Warrior 2018, a three-week exercise exploring emerging technologies and the myriad ways they are shaping Royal Navy operations at sea, has officially drawn to a close.

At Portsdown Technology Park in Portsmouth, QinetiQ created an advanced digital environment to host Information Warrior 2018. Here, new methods of communication were trialed, defence sector issues discussed, and innovative opportunities for problem-solving identified.

The overall objective was to overcome the limitations imposed on communications by the challenging maritime environment – bandwidth and legacy systems, for example. Is it possible to exploit existing information services and increase capability across the Royal Navy’s platforms? Can this be combined with open-architecture to quicken the pace and flexibility of the system? These were just some of the questions asked.

Royal Navy Information Warrior 2018 Lead Commander Whitehall had this to say: “In the words of the First Sea Lord, ‘2018 will be a year of expanding maritime horizons for the Royal Navy’. Information Warrior sets out the vision for a modern approach to delivering information warfare and accelerates progress in addressing some of the shortfalls facing today’s frontline units. Through the innovative use of current capability and exploring the utility of emerging technology, Information Warrior challenges the defence procurement cycle to adopt a more agile approach. Success depends upon embracing different thinking, challenging assumptions and collaborating closely and openly across government, industry and academia.”

Ray Briggs, Principal Engineer at QinetiQ, added: “Information Warrior has shown that if you bring like-minded people together in the correct setting with the passion to solve problems, great things can be achieved. Our experienced engineers and unique facilities at Portsdown Technology Park help the Royal Navy by proving what is technically possible and answering the big questions in the complex information environment.”

Additionally, as part of Information Warrior – and in support of the Year of Engineering – QinetiQ has devised a multi-layered cyber puzzle, aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds. The puzzle poses a fictitious maritime humanitarian and disaster and encourages individuals to use information gathered to solve challenges and progress through the game. The competition is based on time taken to solve the puzzle and the winner will be offered a maritime-related prize –a family ticket to the Historic Dockyard, for example.

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