Millions awarded to defence firms leading fight for modern battlefield
Defence companies with cutting-edge have been awarded over £10 million after being named winners of the MOD and Defence Growth Partnership (DGP) Innovation Challenge.
The winners provided innovative solutions to key strategic future demands for UK defence in autonomy and big data. The companies will receive combined investment and support worth over £4 million from the MOD and £6 million from industry partners to see their full development.
The Defence and Security Accelerator, in tandem with the Defence Solutions Centre, established the competition to explore and develop solutions to ensure the UK armed forces stay ahead of adversaries by finding more efficient methods of communication, logistics, protection, intelligence and training.
The initial investment of £10 million for the competition has been matched pound for pound with industry partners and since then, the competition has received an additional £4 million.
Training is at the core of military capabilities and Project Hyper Real Immersion is designed to provide cutting-edge realistic air combat training. This revolutionary technology from Close Air Solutions aims to enable fully networked live training exercises with NATO and Coalition partners.
QinetiQ’s Software Defined Multifunction LIDAR (laser radar) system will provide a range of high-tech capabilities including 3D imaging, optical communication and covert targeting. Conventional 3D mapping can discover a vehicle under camouflage netting but LIDAR could also determine whether the engine is on and the type of vehicle using vibration sensors.
Horiba Mira is developing a super-intelligent navigation system, which uses Artificial Intelligence algorithms to identify landmarks around a military vehicle to provide a greater situational awareness. This technology will be key in developing the effective operation of unmanned autonomous vehicles in dangerous areas which will remove soldiers from dangerous situations and task them to more valuable roles.
Polaris are developing a pioneering software system that autonomously generates the best routes for Unmanned Surface Vehicles.
AntsOnDeck increases fuel efficiency, which allows extended operations, provides real-time awareness of conditions and environment and can be extended to platforms across the air, land and sea domains.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “From shrewd navigation software, A.I. driven autonomous vehicles, laser radar to mixed reality training systems, today’s winners are a clear demonstration of industry rising to meet the complex challenges of modern warfare. The MOD, working with commercial partners, will see these pioneering technologies go from the drawing board to the battlefield.”
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