Forces and companies from around the world are wrapping up a large event focused on testing new methods, solutions and technologies aimed at making inter-force communications more interoperable.

The annual Coalition Warrior and Interoperability Demonstration (CWID), held at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down, UK, this year mimics operations in Helmand, Afghanistan.

Coalition forces – in particular the UK and US – use the test site to try out new communications technologies and other enablers offered by third parties to see how they could fit into future strategies covering.

The test also allows the forces to test new technologies recently introduced or under current contract.

The CWID event is designed to trigger new innovations in military technology and encourage further cooperation, while also driving future efficiencies in operations that require a united military approach.

Dstl chief scientist of the information management department Professor Bob Madahar said CWID also allows the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to see what the defence industry is designing, and how that could fit into its future strategies.

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“It also gives a fantastic insight in to the latest MoD thinking, [and allows industry to] experiment with their technology to address real challenging military scenarios within realistic environments, so they can go away to refine and develop their products in line with what’s needed,” Madahar said.

“Insights are also provided into how people interact with the computer and any future development and training needs.”

The coalition forces of the UK, Canada, New Zealand, the US and Nato come together under CWID, which also include companies such as MBDA Mobile Systems, Thales UK, EADS, ICG, Fujitsu, Selex Galileo, Envitia and Qinetiq.

By Penny Jones.