The UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation has selected Leonardo-led ‘Team Endure’ to arm bomb disposal personnel with digital protection.
The £41m contract was awarded by DE&S’ Force Protection Electronic Countermeasures delivery team on behalf of the British Army.
The new equipment will shield personnel against remotely triggered devices by scanning airwaves for remote control signals that may be attempting to detonate an explosive.
Once scanned, the technology will allow Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel to block the detonation signals.
The technology will support Army specialists responding to civil emergencies across the UK.
Under the contract, the British Army’s 11 EOD and Search Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps and the Royal Naval Fleet Diving Squadron will receive both vehicle-mounted and portable systems.
DE&S CEO Sir Simon Bollom said: “This British Army regiment carries out high risk duties, often in direct protection of the public, and it is essential that we provide them with the tools needed to carry out their job safely and effectively.
“Crucially, the system is open architecture so it can be updated across its lifetime to ensure advancements is hostile technology can be countered.”
The Leonardo-led team includes CommsAudit, Elma Electronic, Kirintec and Waymont Consulting, Marshall Land Systems, and EWS.
While Leonardo will serve as the systems integrator for the new equipment, nearly 50% of the work will be delivered by UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
As agreed, Leonardo will also deliver in-service support services to the MoD for two years, which can be extended if required.
The advanced equipment is the first application of the MoD’s Land Cyber and ElectroMagnetic Architecture to meet the needs of Electronic Counter Measure activities.
In addition, the contract supports 100 jobs across the UK, including 35 at Leonardo in Basildon and Southampton.
Initial deliveries of the equipment are scheduled to start from 2024 and are expected to be deployed in 2025 by the 11 EOD and Search Regiment.