The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a research and development contract to BAE Systems to explore next-generation naval maritime capabilities, under the management of MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Under the three-year £32m deal, BAE will conduct research in the 'sense to decide' (S2D) area, intended to collect and compute naval vessel environment information that will assist in battlespace command and control, both above and below water.
UK defence minister Philip Dunne said that the new technological innovation would be vital to national security and prosperity.
"The contract is designed to maximise the reach of our science and technology funding, led by a team from BAE Systems, with numerous participants in the research, from large companies, to academia, to SMEs," Dunne added.
BAE Systems Maritime's specialists in combat systems from naval ships and submarines will work with other companies and Maritime Collaborative Enterprise (MarCE) project academics to provide surface and underwater battlespace command and control capability for the MoD.
The team will broadly focus on how to directly apply theoretical concepts in real-time practical environments.
Dstl's Maritime domain leader David Sherburn said: "Awarding this contract is a major milestone for the maritime domain, and an exemplar of how Dstl, industry and academic partners work together, ensuring comprehensive support from the UK defence supply base for the benefit of UK Armed Forces.
"This consortium will enhance the MoD's research into above and underwater capability and provide real impact for MoD," Sherburn added.
Image: A crew performing battlespace command and control function. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.