The MOD has allocated £30m from the Defence Transformation Fund it announced in last year's Modernising Defence Programme. The funding hopes to change the way application software is developed for the Armed Forces, and aims to ensure it can be rapidly adapted to suit the extreme environments they face.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
From major natural disasters to the frontline on the battlefield, our Armed Forces are quick to react and even quicker to adapt. This technology matches that agility by enabling the creation of specialist digital applications that are tailored, secure and responsive.
By deploying this technology into the hands of our military, from sailors serving in the Caribbean, to pilots working in the Middle East, we will ensure we have a fighting force fit for the future, equipped with state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips.
The new approach, championed by Joint Forces Command, will allow defence specialists to create and tailor applications rapidly to meet an operational commander’s requirements, assure its robustness and security, and deploy it on military networks in a matter of days.
As a mission evolves and changes, the application will be able to be adapted and changed to keep step with the demands of the operation.
The capability, dubbed PREDA - Platform for Rapid Exploitation of Digital Applications - is similar to the technology being introduced by the United States Air Force (USAF) and US Marine Corps, which has already seen direct benefits from putting modern applications and decision support software directly in the hands of the war-fighter, when and where it is needed.
Whilst the approach is initially expected to provide tools to support decision making and command and control, the initiative could be rolled out to other disciplines, such as cyber defence, logistics and medical support. The technology is expected to be in use on operations across the globe by the end of the year.