Three QinetiQ-led consortia and Niteworks have secured research contracts to support the UK Ministry of Defence's (MoD) information superiority for contingent operations (ISCO) research programme.
Awarded by the MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in collaboration with Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation, the £10m contract covers delivery of ISCO support for the next two years.
The consortia include Enabling Secure Information Infrastructure (ESII), ISTAR Concepts & Solutions (ICS) and Command Inform and Battlespace Management (CIBM).
Managed by Dstl, the ISCO programme aims to develop and supply cost-efficient solutions to support the MoD's information superiority (IS) capabilities within a five-year timeframe to help provide a decisive advantage to UK armed forces in the battlefield.
ISCO leader George Barlow said the industry scientists, engineers and academics, along with Dstl and DE&S, would provide the best approach to support the challenging and agile programme that will eventually deliver real benefits to future deployed forces.
QinetiQ C4ISR Division managing director Jeremy Ward said the team would initially provide the MoD with rapid access to a broad spectrum of potential solutions.
"We will support Dstl's evaluation of their potential to make a step change in the capability of our front-line troops as they plan, initiate and sustain contingent operations," Ward added.
Niteworks programme lead Alasdair Campbell said the company would initially seek to identify and implement the best practice from a range of global civil and military communities as part of the programme.
ISCO will improve the MoD's communication and information systems (CIS) capabilities, processes and training to support soldiers entering an operational theatre, enhance interoperability with allies, simultaneously reduce size, weight, power consumption and equipment-based solutions costs.
IS is required by troops to acquire, verify and gather the information required to conduct operations and neutralise enemy forces in the battlefield.
Image: Information Superiority is needed to effectively communicate with coalition forces. Photo: © 2009-2012 Roke Manor Research Limited.