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Demonstrating UK innovation at Unmanned Warrior

22 January 2016
Delegates attending the Underwater Defence and Security Conference have heard why industry should be getting excited about the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior demonstration.

Presenting at the Portsmouth conference Commander Peter Pipkin, the Fleet Robotics Officer, told attendees that the exercise was not 'a bidding process' but rather an opportunity to demonstrate British innovation and shine a spotlight on British industry.

“What we are seeking to achieve is an event that re-shapes the market to provide new opportunities for everybody and shows UK industry advancement in this area,” he said.

Taking place in the autumn, Unmanned Warrior will see 40 participants from industry, academia and defence, including the US Navy and NATO CMRE (Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation), operating unmanned and autonomous vehicles, sensors and software in the air, on the surface, and underwater. Participation in Unmanned Warrior is predominantly self-funded.

Unmanned Warrior is going to provide a showcase for the demonstration of products in a tactically relevant environment

Commander Peter Pipkin, Fleet Robotics Officer

Cdr Pipkin added: “Unmanned Warrior is going to provide a showcase for the demonstration of products in a tactically relevant environment. The overall value will be in transforming the market as a whole by creating increased demand for these technologies, not seeking specific business opportunities within the event.”

Taking place off the west coast of Scotland, the demonstrations in Unmanned Warrior will be based around five themes that were self-selected by participants at a workshop in 2015. These are:

  • Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW)
  • Information, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR)
  • Command and Control 
  • Hydrographic and Geointelligence
  • Mine Countermeasures (MCM)

“We have deliberately adopted a different approach to capability demonstration, in that the MOD is inviting participants to offer their thoughts on what future capability might look like and where technology can be exploited without any preconceptions,” Cdr Pipkin said.

“This recognises that we (Defence) do not always have a crystal ball but are willing to look at the full breadth of possible technology exploitation paths.”

Further details can be found on the Unmanned Warrior feature page.

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