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Cutting-edge technology on show in Royal Navy exercise

23 April 2019
New technology was put on display as the Royal Navy looked at how it can use information and data for tactical advantage.

Exercise Information Warrior took place at QinetiQ Portsdown Technology Park, in Portsmouth, and showcased the latest IT developments and equipment available to the naval service.

More than 30 companies shared their latest ideas during the three-week programme of events, which saw experiments and trials of cutting-edge technology.

Cyber and Electro-Magnetic Activity was also tested during the exercise and the results will be used for operational deployments in the near future and to increase resilience to cyber-attacks across the Royal Navy.

This is not just about the equipment; our thinking and how we conduct operations in a digital world must also change to keep pace, to adapt and to succeed.

Commodore Ian Annett RN

Speaking at the event, Commodore Ian Annett, Assistant Chief of Staff Information Warfare and Royal Navy Chief Information Officer, said: “The world and operational context is changing, and the Royal Navy must mobilise, modernise and transform to stay ahead of emerging threats in order to set the conditions for future maritime success.

“This is not just about the equipment; our thinking and how we conduct operations in a digital world must also change to keep pace, to adapt and to succeed.”

The Royal Navy is modernising the way it operates by introducing and embracing new technologies, with Exercise Information Warrior a key part of that.

This year’s themes included transforming the use of data analytics to improve decision-making for troops on the ground and improve engineering and fuel monitoring.

They also included bringing together the Hydrographic and Met Office alongside Programme Nelson - which was formed to accelerate the exploitation of advanced data analytics and artificial intelligence in the Royal Navy.

To keep up with the pace of new technology, the naval service is using advanced experiments in exercises along with the Defence Transformation Funding to access it quicker and ensure forces are equipped for future conflicts.

Commander John Gordon, Information Warrior lead planner, said: “We must continue to drive cultural change in the transition to a digital navy. Programme Nelson will continue to influence thinking and challenge convention.

“Perhaps most importantly, we must strive to deliver effect to those who need it now; the war-fighter.”

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