The UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Technology Office and the British Army have launched the Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) 20 experimentation project.
AWE20 will be looking to engage with a broad industrial base – from large primes to one-man, ‘garden shed’ innovators – to explore emerging technology in the Agile Command, Control and Communication space.
James Morris, DE&S Technology Office, said: “While looking at new technology is an exciting prospect, bringing new technologies into service can be a major business challenge. The requirement for new skills, training or organisational structures can be a real blocker to new equipment.
“Defence standards, test and evaluation processes or new supply chains and commercial models all need to be considered. AWE20 will crucially provide vital insights to the Army and DE&S on the technologies and these wider issues to support more informed future procurement decisions.”
The Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) series (previously URBan EXperimentation or URBEX) has been an ongoing Army experimentation programme for the last 10 years. It has consistently delivered high quality evidence for the army and invaluable military feedback to industry.
The AWE programme explores technology suitable for exploitation in the short-to-medium term. It pushes the boundaries of technology and military capability, testing a range of prototype systems by putting them in the hands of the user while giving invaluable military feedback to industry.
Agile C3 has been identified as one of the 9 fundamental deductions and insights judged most critical to guide strategic, joint and command force development.
AWE18, code named Autonomous Warrior, saw more than 50 companies from large primes to one-man, garden shed innovators engage with DE&S in a bid to secure an opportunity to showcase their products to the military.
AWE20 is expected to surpass that both in scale and level of industry engagement. The topic provides a broad scope, looking at all aspects of battlefield headquarters from deployable infrastructure, data aggregation and analytics to HQ resilience and decision support.
The project aims to:
+ engage with industry technology providers of all sizes to explore what innovative approaches to traditional issues can be leveraged to give the army a competitive edge
+ expose capability and knowledge gaps
+ explore technology ready for rapid exploitation
+ create a community of industry partners that will encourage a collaborative approach to problem solving