The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has awarded £2.5m to a consortium led by Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd to develop drone swarm technology.

The Ministry of Defence say that a swarm could support lower operating costs, greater system efficiency as well as increased resilience in the following areas:

  • Situational awareness
  • Medical assistance
  • Logistics resupply
  • Explosive ordnance detection and disposal
  • Confusion and deception

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:

“The MOD continues to invest in pioneering technology that enhances capability, reduces risk to personnel and enables us to better perform our tasks. Drone swarm technology can revolutionise how we conduct intelligence gathering, humanitarian aid, disposal of explosives and supply our troops on the battlefield.”

Head of DASA Lucy Mason said:

“I am delighted that defence funding has enabled the creation of a collaboration from across industry sectors that will evaluate the latest thinking in swarming drone systems. We are committed to driving innovation through creating partnerships and collaboration, harnessing the best ideas and innovative thinking for UK defence and security.”

According to a news release:

“Currently, operational systems require one or more operators to pilot the aircraft or to closely manage the flight mission. This is manpower intensive and consumes time and resource to train operators.

The UK Armed Forces are actively seeking robotic solutions to provide a ‘Force-Multiplier’ effect whereby a greater military capability is delivered by fewer people and equipment. The swarm system is one possible solution to this multiple domain requirement as it will cover larger areas of battlespace more quickly at lower cost and reduced man hours. It also removes the operator from potentially harmful situations.

The future project phase will seek to establish a more ‘self-sufficient’ UAS swarm, providing the military with the ability to operate in increasingly complex and contested environments. Effective Human Machine Teaming will remain at the core of this research to ensure that the human remains firmly in control of the system.”

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Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Medical assistance and resupply?
We still need people in the RLC and DMS for that.
As long as this stuff supplements and not replaces on the cheap.

Ian
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Ian

Sounds like a cost-cutting exercise, or recognition that the school leavers of this and future generations, for some reason, don’t see the armed forces as a career choice?

Joel
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Joel

I saw it as a career choice 🙂

Nick Bowman
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Nick Bowman

Two and a half million dollars! There are cars that cost that much these days. Our subs cost a billion ans a half!

Captain P Wash
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Captain P Wash

Well, Nick, In 2022 A £2 Million Car will be restricted to 70mph like all the others. If Europe’s Ruling Elite get their way.

Anyone who thinks Brexit will be bad for the Economy must be Feckin Blind as well as Stupid. And That Includes Germany as Their Car Manufacturing Base will Collapse over night.

This will be Megga in a few Years when People actually Take on Board what will happen.

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Thats the problem when you read a headline and not the whole article.

No car will be “restricted”

The brakes will apply if you go over the speed limit, which if you don’t want to happen you put your foot down and the braking stops, as sometimes it’s safer to speed up and brake the speed limit if overtaking or avoiding an accident etc.

4thwatch
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4thwatch

Just more Nanny EU interference. More things to go wrong believe me.
Fog in the EU’s little brain cells; Europe cut off from reality.

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

How is it interference? They will have no say on what our driving laws will be after Brexit, our driving agency has agreed with the measure regardless or Brexit.

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

“Anyone who thinks Brexit will be bad for the Economy must be Feckin Blind as well as Stupid”

And our driving agency has already said we will be applying the same rules on cars here, regardless of Brexit.

Steve
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Steve

I thought the drone swarm we were buying was an off the shelf product, that would be ready this year. What happened to that idea?

Julian
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Julian

In defence terms £2.5m is such a small sum of money that it probably is funding for evaluation projects for various potential off-the-shelf options rather than any significant development work.

T.S
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I am presuming this is a different program to the loyal wingman type swarm gavin announced a few weeks back. This sounds like small cheap expendable drones for use by the army, not something that can partner with an F35.

andy reeves
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led by rupert bear more like.