The British Ministry of Defence has awarded 3.5 million pounds ($4.8 million) to the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to develop smarter missile systems capable of communicating with each other.
The initiative is part of the Co-operative Strike Weapons Technology Demonstrator program that aims to explore how inter-missile communication can enable weapons systems to work together for improved performance.
Furthermore, the contract will seek to improve the flexibility and responsiveness of the country’s missile systems through software upgrades to ensure that they can adapt to various changes arising in the battlespace.
“Currently, missiles can communicate with the launch platform but not each other,” a DSTL Scientist pointed out. “The aim of this program is to investigate how inter-missile communication and cooperative behaviors can be technically achieved to solve UK military challenges.”
Development of the smarter missile systems may take two years. At present, DSTL scientists are assessing different military tactics and scenarios in partnership with multinational missile developer and manufacturer MBDA.
Enhancing Military Capabilities
British Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, believes that the multimillion-dollar investment in innovative missile systems can boost the country’s ability to meet future security threats.
He also emphasized the importance of investing in military research and development, noting that “this project highlights the central role science and technology plays in informing how our assets operate.”
The funding is expected to support the delivery of future co-operative missiles, including hardware and software, while also providing systems studies on the use of co-operative missiles in various operational scenarios.
The UK could be enjoying the benefits of a smarter integrated network of missiles within five years if the development and demonstration are successful.
Defense Modernization Plan
Investing in modern armaments, along with procuring more ships, submarines, and sailors, is part of the UK’s military modernization plans to bolster defense of British interests “across multiple domains and in all corners of the globe.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that in the coming years, the country will be constantly operating to deter adversaries and to fight if deemed necessary.