Scientists from the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have participated in the Army Warfighting Experiment Sustain and Protect (AWE S&P) exercise to test new industry technologies.

The exercise is part of the AWE Urban series’ second phase. It was held at His Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth.

Dstl experts operated and evaluated robotics, data fusion, and a range of novel technologies from industry partners.  

Infantry Trials and Development Unit commanding officer lieutenant colonel Arthur Dawe said: “Dstl is constantly seeking to improve the effectiveness of the UK’s armed forces by identifying and assessing novel technologies.

“These new technologies will offer operational advantage in a number of areas, such as improved sensing to identify and track adversaries, or through increasing the speed and compatibility of data, enabling commanders to make faster and more impactful decisions.”

The aim of the AWE Urban series is to make use of ‘intelligent logistics, novel medical extraction, and autonomous vehicle extraction’, as well as counter-uncrewed air systems (C-UAS) and counter-cyber and electromagnetic activities (C-CEMA), to safeguard and sustain a Brigade (and below) force in the urban environment.

The AWE S&P exercise seeks to inform existing and future equipment programmes by identifying evolving and novel industry technologies.

It also focuses on promoting close partnership amongst allies, partners, government, and industry.

Approximately 159 systems were submitted by the industry for their assessments, of which Dstl experts moved nearly 20 technologies to the integrated experimentation assessment stage.

A Dstl team of 20 people, along with QinetiQ, DE&S and Army Trials and Development units (TDUs), worked together throughout the down selection process.

The industry technologies were deployed by troops from 2 YORKS and 3 PARA, the Dutch Army’s Robotics and Autonomous Systems Unit, and the US Army Experimentation Force.

The use of the selected technologies was tested in ‘representative, platoon level, force-on-force urban scenarios’ and the observations were recoded to help inform the development of future army capabilities.

Earlier this week, Dstl hosted an artificial intelligence (AI) platform recognition trial.