The nature of conflict is changing. The battlespace is more sophisticated and more complex than ever before. It is moving beyond traditional realms of conflict and bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds. 

Rapid advancements in digitalisation means that cyber threats are scaling - becoming increasingly destructive and coercive, and adversaries are integrating these threats into their core military strategies. And we need to be ready to defend against them. To effectively counter digital threats, we need to create a seamlessly integrated, multi-domain network, where platforms and systems are intertwined. A web of military power. And sitting at the core of that multi-domain network is data. 

Data facilitates the integration between platforms across air, land, sea, space and cyber. It is vital in allowing technologies to interface, not only connecting across domains, but across allied nations and governments too. But there’s other ways to harness data. We are living in an age of information, surging with each new sensor that we deploy. If data is the new currency, our forces are sitting on a gold mine. And as the Ministry of Defence put it, if you cannot make sense of the data and exploit it, you lose. 
The real goal is to master the data. To understand it. To decipher it and determine its operational relevance. Using it to empower our forces with a complete picture of the battlespace, and providing access to a full range of capabilities that integrate seamlessly to tackle the threat. This will require a whole new set of skills, and new technology will be important to deliver that data to our front lines.
Technologies like AI, simulation, quantum sensing and computing, automation and human-machine interfacing are fast becoming the new, key components of warfare, underpinning the digital weapons of the future. The value of harnessing these technologies are immeasurable. They provide unparalleled situational awareness for split-second decision making in moments where time is of the essence.

Quantum sensing and computing, for example, allows us to sense even the best hidden objects, and enables secure, encrypted communication without the threat of interception. If we can sense objects from even greater distances, then we’re able to upgrade our platforms to enhance our offensive capabilities. In another instance, our Striker® II helmet incorporates human-machine interfacing into its’ battle-proven, target-tracking technology. Striker II is constantly in sync with both the pilot and the aircraft’s computer system, and with picture-in-picture technology, pilots can distinguish and display the most important information to their missions. 

But in this journey to technical superiority, collaboration is key. We are continuously drawing on expertise from partners, academia, start-ups and SMEs from inside and outside of defence to leverage new technology. The gaming industry, for example, are leading the way in visualisation and virtual reality, accelerating the pace of development. Take Bohemia Interactive Simulations, whose DNA is rooted in video game development. Bohemia are providing the core simulation that underpins Project OdySSEy, our single synthetic environment that brings multi-domain training to life. These strategic collaborations play a pivotal role in ensuring that our integrated technologies are at the forefront of innovation and deliver limitless benefits for our military forces. Our role as a Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) enables us to seamlessly weave all of this new and emerging technology into our platforms, giving our customers access to limitless data and critical information. 

By utilising data in the world of multi-domain operations, we can rest assured that our front lines - whether that be a satellite, aircraft, drone, ship, or land-based operation – have the critical edge in the battlefield and beyond. Our Research and Development teams are getting ready for the future, developing and applying technologies that help our defence customers protect us all. Visit our Innovators site to find out how. 

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Iain Minton

Technology Capability Delivery Director