The UK has launched a new competition seeking new proposals to enhance early warning capabilities of the naval forces.

The ‘Look out! Maritime Early Warning Innovations’ competition was launched by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in collaboration with the Royal Navy.

The initiative aims to support the development of alternative future concepts for the Early Warning systems currently deployed within the Carrier and Littoral Strike Groups.

A total of £1.25m of funding was allocated for the first phase of the competition with submissions slated to close on 6 July 2021.

The selected proposals will receive up to £250,000 of funding to demonstrate concept feasibility.

Interested parties with ideas that can enhance horizon surveillance, target detection capability or operational effectiveness can apply.

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Royal Navy Carrier and Littoral Strike Groups plan to add air and surface surveillance capabilities that will provide with over-the-horizon situational awareness.

This will help the strike groups to identify, track and recognise surface and airborne objects, and respond accordingly.

Currently, sensors mounted aboard airborne platforms provide early warning maritime capabilities.

The new concept may succeed the current Crowsnest Airborne Surveillance Programme, which has a planned out-of-service date of 2029.

Earlier this year, DASA awarded £3m in funding for its Intelligent Ship competition. The funding was divided among nine projects.

Led by DASA on behalf of the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl), this competition seeks to develop technologies for naval vessels from 2030 onward.