The last two weeks have certainly proven that no two weeks are ever the same for some of the Strategy Team’s activities within the UKDSC. We are responsible for a number of activities ranging from analysing the market intelligence, to identify potential opportunities for UK industry to adopt a ‘Team UK’ approach to exports, through to ‘Capability Roadmapping’ where we help industry identify Capability and Technology Roadmaps that can benefit customer’s future needs.
Why the diversity each week? Well, recently the Royal Navy hosted Unmanned Warrior 2016 off the west coast of Scotland which allowed industry, academia and international partners to demonstrate the potential offered by maritime autonomous systems. The UKDSC’s Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems (CMIS) has been tasked with analysing the results of Unmanned Warrior with a view to proposing new ‘Interventions’ that will simultaneously satisfy our Navy’s and export customers’ future requirements. The first task for us has been to explore the potential maritime opportunities in a number of export countries such that we can start producing these interventions, so we spent two days analysing data. The first capability development ideas have since been identified so now it’s time to initiate the specific strategies to be adopted for each idea.
As for this week, I’ve spent two days with the army – slightly different! Until recently I was chairman of the Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Community of Interest within the UKDSC and found myself in Warminster to act as an impartial observer at the UAS portion of the Infantry Test and Development Unit’s (ITDU) ‘Dragon’s Den’ which forms part of the Army Warfighting Experiment. Basically, a host of small to large enterprises attended a ‘show and tell’ which allowed them to have ten minutes pitching their UASs to a panel of army officers. The successful parties will be asked to carry out demonstrations of their products on an army trials area later this year. Pick of the day? A hover bike! Think of a quadcopter the size of a car that can travel at 100mph and you can imagine how excited some of the audience got – unfortunately we didn’t get to have a go. Hopefully some of the SMEs who attended will join up to the UKDSC and one of our Communities of Interest?
So, never a dull moment in these parts and, for someone who comes from an airborne sensors background, two very good opportunities for learning about the fantastic capabilities the UK Defence Industry has to offer.
Dr Mark Daniell BSc PhD – Capability Development Architect on secondment to the UKDSC from Leonardo