New funding for a revolutionary AI warship announced 

Inside hull of a warship
Copyright © iStock/donvictorio

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has announced £4m of funding to revolutionise the way warships make decisions.

The new AI project will be able to process thousands of strands of intelligence and data by using Artificial Intelligence. Nine projects will share an initial £1m, which will enable them to develop smart technology and innovative solutions to help crews manage and control the increasing amount of information gathered as part of DASA’s Intelligent Ship.

Defence Minister, James Heappey, said: “The astonishing pace at which global threats are evolving requires new approaches and fresh-thinking to the way we develop our ideas and technology. The funding will research pioneering projects into how A.I and automation can support our armed forces in their essential day-to-day work.”

DASA’s Intelligent Ship focuses on inventive approaches for defence platforms, such as aircraft, warships and land vehicles by the year 2040. DASA, on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), are hoping that the future will allow for platforms to be designed and optimised to benefit current and future advances in automation, autonomy, machine learning and AI.

These key areas of research will aim to address the complexity of national security and constantly evolving threats. The project will help develop applications that are essential for the future in an increasingly A.I driven world.

Julia Tagg, technical lead from Dstl, said: “This DASA competition has the potential to lead the transformation of our defence platforms, leading to a sea change in the relationships between AI and human teams. This will ensure UK defence remains an effective, capable force for good in a rapidly changing technological landscape.

“Crews are already facing information overload with thousands of sources of data, intelligence, and information. By harnessing automation, autonomy, machine learning and artificial intelligence with the real-life skill and experience of our men and women, we can revolutionise the way future fleets are put together and operate to keep the UK safe.”

The £4m, which will be introduced over two phases, has the potential to drastically change the way the Royal Navy, Royal Airforce and British Army equipment platforms are designed, operated and manned.

DASA Delivery Manager, Adam Moore, said: “DASA brings together the brightest minds in science, industry and academia to turbocharge innovations to keep the UK, as well as those who protect us, safe from emerging and evolving threats to our way of life. This project will ensure the Royal Navy and all our Armed Forces stays one step ahead of our adversaries.”

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