UK’s Dstl Developing Missiles that Can Communicate


The Biritsh Ministry of Defence has announced that the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has been awarded £3.5 million to develop innovative new missile systems.

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Known as the Co-operative Strike Weapons Technology Demonstrator (CSWTD), the Dstl-led project will explore how inter-missile communication can enable the weapons systems to work together and also improve the performance of current systems.

The project aims to increase the flexibility of missiles, ensuring that they can react to a changing threat or situation as it emerges, and improve their responsiveness. It will change the way missiles operate together with an upgrade to the software system that allows this co-operative behaviour.

"Drawing on the vital expertise of our Dstl scientists, innovative new missile systems will enhance our current capabilities as Defence adapts to meet future threats," said the British Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin. "With an investment into research and development, this project highlights the central role science and technology plays in informing how our assets operate," he added.

Announced by the British Prime Minister last November, Defence has received an uplift in funding of £24-billion over the next four years and, aided by commitments outlined in the recent Defence Command Paper, the MOD will invest £6.6-billion into Research & Development, enabling the Armed Forces to benefit from science and innovation.

The investment into the CSWTD project will deliver the foundations for future co-operative missiles, including hardware and software, and also provide a number of systems studies to understand how co-operative missiles could be used in real operational scenarios.

"Currently missiles can communicate with the launch platform but not each other. [...] The aim of this programme is to investigate how inter-missile communication and cooperative behaviours can be technically achieved to solve UK military challenges," the Ministry quoted a Dstl Scientist.

Work began on the programme in April this year and is expected to last just over 2 years. The current stage of the programme sees Dstl scientists assessing different military tactics and scenarios in close collaboration with industry partner MBDA.

A demonstration will take place throughout the project, and if successful, UK platforms could be exploiting the benefits of a smarter integrated network of missiles within 5 years.

Dstl has just announced its biggest recruitment campaign in recent years and will also celebrate its 20th anniversary of service this weekend.

Source - British Ministry of Defence

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