Recognising the potential of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) to offer significant benefits to the conduct of military operations, the Army has established a Capability Spotlight to focus on the opportunities offered by rapid adoption of RAS. It aims to: 'Identify how the Army can exploit developments in RAS technology through focused analysis, capability integration and experimentation to deliver affordable operational capability in the short-medium term'
A core component of this Spotlight is a large scale experiment and demonstration in Autumn 2018. Its aim is to connect industry technology providers with Army front line units, drawing on the successful models offered by the Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) and Unmanned Warrior (undertaken by the Royal Navy). The activity will occur within an operational scenario to test and evaluate the utility of commercially available and developmental RAS in order to identify specific capabilities for rapid exploitation. It will be multinational, multi-location and will take place over 2-3 weeks; it is likely to be connected through a common scenario within a synthetic environment most likely pitched at a brigade operating within a divisional context. As such, it will offer industry a genuine platform with senior and working level military representation from the UK and allies. RAS systems will be tasked by military staff in support of operations, but may be operated by either uniformed staff or industry. There is scope for live flying and there may be some scope for live firing.
The Army, supported by DE&S Technology Office, is keen to hear from Industry who have RAS-related technologies that could offer military benefit. Experimentation and demonstration events will then be designed to gather some evidence as to how RAS can deliver a range of capabilities. The Army is particularly keen to receive technological solutions relating to:
* Situational Awareness and Decision Support
* Movement and Manoeuvre
* Force Protection
The Army would also welcome any other suitable RAS ideas and technologies that may provide military benefit.
Building on the recent Army RAS Industry Workshop held in Farnborough, respondents are invited to indicate, without commitment or prejudice, where they might be willing to contribute resources (e.g. people and equipment). Participation in AWE RAS will be at Industrys expense, noting that AWE RAS provides a showcase to demonstrate their capabilities to a wide range of stakeholder and the opportunity to receive military user feedback. However it is not the intent of AWE RAS to limit opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) participation and as such, the Authority will consider requests from SMEs for limited funding on individual merit, and where it can be shown that to provide their services for free puts them at a disadvantage.
The AWE RAS activity will be circulated through a number of communications routes but this DCB advert is the definitive document and all expressions of interest should be sent to the AWE RAS Commercial mailbox (DESTECH-AWE-RASCommercial@mod.gov.uk). Once your Expression of Interest has been received, you will be sent a submitters guide and templates to be completed for final submission by Friday 1 September 2017.