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Dstl launches Exploration Division


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has announced it has set up a new Exploration Division to identify technologies with great potential for defence and security.

The executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Defence said it will identify and accelerate transformative technologies, systems, concepts and strategies for defence and security.

Such ideas could be ‘over the horizon’ technologies, next generation concepts or existing systems that could be adapted for defence and security.

It expects the initiative to increase its ability to shape generation-after-next equipment and strategy for the armed forces while continuing to support current operational requirements.

Exploration Division will use AI and data analytics to scan the horizon for transformative technologies such as quantum sensing or quantum cryptography, neuromorphic computing, and telexistence. It will incubate the most promising of these and imagine new systems to provide the UK’s armed forces and security forces with advanced capabilities.

It will also draw on Dstl’s expertise in horizon scanning, systems thinking, wargaming, simulation, social science and operational research to explore novel tactics and strategies and driving the transition of good ideas into conceptual force design and anticipatory policy.

Dstl said the process will involve suppliers and customers, providing a safe space in which to challenge accepted plans.

Shaping the future

Professor Andy Bell, Dstl’s chief technical officer, said: “The creation of Exploration Division will secure Dstl a leading role in shaping the future of defence and security.

“Identifying novel concepts and accelerating research and development will bring future systems and technologies into service quicker and more cost-effectively. This will enhance UK security by providing innovative and word leading equipment to our forces, as well as transformative concepts of operation and strategies with which to achieve success.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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