The Royal Navy is using artificial intelligence for the first time at sea in an effort to help defeat missile attacks.
The Royal Navy say here that leading-edge software is being tested at sea against live missiles during the largest exercise of its type off the coasts of Scotland and Norway.
“Involving more than 3,000 military personnel, Formidable Shield tests the ability of NATO warships to detect, track and defeat incoming missiles, from sea-skimming weapons travelling at twice the speed of sound just above the waterline, to ballistic missiles.
Three Royal Navy warships are taking part in the exercise, which runs until early June: destroyer HMS Dragon and two frigates, Lancaster and Argyll. HMS Lancaster and Dragon are trialing artificial intelligence and machine learning applications which offer a glimpse of the future of air defence at sea.”
It is claimed that experts from the Government’s defence laboratory Dstl and industry partners from Roke, CGI and BAE Systems are using the three-week exercise to test their ‘Startle’ and ‘Sycoiea’ systems.
“Startle is designed to help ease the load on sailors monitoring the ‘air picture’ in the operations room by providing real-time recommendations and alerts. Sycoiea builds upon this and is at the forefront of automated Platform and Force Threat Evaluation Weapon assignment, effectively allowing operations room teams to identify incoming missiles and advise on the best weapon to deal with them more quickly than even the most experienced operator.”
Above Water Tactician Leading Seaman Sean Brooks aboard HMS Lancaster is among those who was impressed by the software.
“I was able identify missile threats more quickly than usual and even outwit the operations room!” he was quoted as saying.