DSEI 2021 and the British Army put integration in the spotlight
In order to better adapt to the evolving character of warfare, the Army is enacting a new land operating concept that focuses on integrating government, industry and allies/partners at the highest level in order to drive the tempo of strategic activity.
Central to this is the ability for Defence and industry to work collaboratively to solve future capability challenges, as outlined under the Army Industrial Engagement Framework launched at DSEI 2019. Industry is now being encouraged to take its place as a lead echelon in the Army’s future force, with new technologies being exploited under the Secretary of State’s Transformation Fund and plans to link the Army Venture Capital Partnership with the National Security Strategic Investment Fund.
Around £100 million has been earmarked for investment in novel technologies in 2021, with hybrid electric drives, human/machine teaming, and the development of a virtual proving ground to accelerate Capability Development and 21st Century Headquarters among the top priorities. Additionally, industry is to play a key role in the planned Army Battle Lab on the Dorset Innovation Park, which will enable small and medium sized companies to collaborate and innovate in a year-round setting that is currently limited to the Army Warfighting Experiment.
DSEI 2021’s Land Zone, supported by the British Army, will provide a forum for industry to engage with Defence on these initiatives, showcase new equipment and technology, identify potential areas of collaboration, and meet with partners at all levels of the supply chain.
General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, Chief of the General Staff, said: “As we look to the future, the British Army will be more expeditionary and more engaged for more of the time and our equipment needs to match the threats and exponential developments in technology. The Army’s relationship with industry will be vital to ensuring it has innovation at the heart of future capability and we will be actively seeking opportunities to develop Defence’s relationship through the Army’s Land Industrial Strategy.
“On behalf of the Army, I’d like to extend my thanks and best wishes to the DSEI organisers for their help in delivering the Army’s part in DSEI 2021. Everyone is working incredibly hard to ensure the smooth running of the event despite current challenges and this is testament to the DSEI team’s professionalism and its commitment to partnership.”
“It is hugely validating to have the support of the British Army behind DSEI 2021. We believe that DSEI offers the single most valuable opportunity in the biennial defence trade show calendar to connect UK companies and their international counterparts with each other and their end customers across the land, sea and air domains,” Grant Burgham, DSEI Event Director, Clarion Defence & Security, commented. “We aim to foster business connections at every level and look forward to presenting a world-class industry response to the Army’s requirements as they look to support emerging operating concepts over the coming decade.”
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