Ministry of Defence publishes new Science & Technology portfolio
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has commissioned its Science & Technology agenda, which is backed by £2 billion of investment and includes a new satellite launch. Aimed at driving forward cutting-edge research and developing new Defence capabilities, the Science & Technology Portfolio outlines a series of ambitious programmes, encouraging industry collaboration and input to meet future Defence needs.
Building on previous projects including testing autonomous systems and developing state-of-the-art capabilities for F-35 fighter jets, the MOD will work with the best of British industry and academia to develop new and exciting defence technology.
£2 billion will be invested between now and 2026 to develop programmes which underpin the development of the generation-after-next of military capabilities. Key elements of the future-facing portfolio include:
- Plans to develop a new weapon demonstrator capable of operating up to hypersonic speeds to better equip the Armed Forces against future threats.
- Expanded research into AI technologies, better understanding how they can benefit service personnel on the front line.
- Investment to build Defence capabilities in space, improving intelligence, communication, and surveillance.
The £2 billion outlined is part of the £6.6 billion investment into research and development following the £24 billion increase in the Defence budget announced in the 2021 Defence Command Paper. Designed to meet the MOD’s capability needs, the Science & Technology portfolio will ensure the UK Armed Forces have access to the newest and most cutting-edge technology.
Dstl Chief Executive Dr Paul Hollinshead said:
Dstl’s world-class scientists are committed to delivering the best scientific advice and technological solutions, giving the armed forces operational advantage, the edge in decision making, and saving lives.
The new portfolio will see defence enhancing its hypersonic research programme alongside significant science and technology investment in AI, cyber, electromagnet activities, novel sensors, advanced materials, space and support to the nuclear deterrent.