in Defence / Events

QinetiQ brings autonomy expertise to European research programme

Posted 23 February 2018 · Add Comment

QinetiQ is to play a pivotal role in OCEAN2020, the first research programme awarded by the European Defence Agency as part of its European Defence Fund initiative.

Above: Autonomous air and maritime vehicles at Unmanned Warrior.
Courtesy QinetiQ

On 12 January 2018, following a competitive selection process, the European Defence Agency announced the award of the OCEAN2020 contract to a consortium led by Leonardo, comprising 42 partners from 15 European countries. The programme will explore deeper integration of unmanned platforms in maritime surveillance missions, with QinetiQ contributing its expertise in the command and control of multiple autonomous vehicles. The activity will build on the success of 2016’s Unmanned Warrior multinational naval exercise.

Bill Biggs, QinetiQ lead on Autonomy, said: “This is great news – it gives us a real platform to work with exciting partners, broadening and deepening what we achieved in Unmanned Warrior.  We are investing significantly in this area, and collaborative international projects are a key part of our strategy.” 

The research programme will build up to two live demonstrations; the first in the Mediterranean in 2019 and the second in the Baltic in 2020, both involving navies from multiple nations. During the demonstrations, QinetiQ will deploy an enhanced version of the Autonomous Control Exploitation Realisation (ACER) system, built for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) under the Maritime Autonomous Platform Exploitation (MAPLE) programme. ACER will enable the integration of multiple unmanned platforms (fixed wing, rotary wing, surface and underwater) with naval units’ command and control centres.

Biggs added: “We are very pleased to have had the full support of Dstl and the Royal Navy as part of this proposal and look forward to working with them and the OCEAN2020 team in what will be a ground breaking project for maritime autonomy.”

Two smaller UK companies are partnering with QinetiQ as part of the project; Seiche Autonaut Ltd will provide their revolutionary wave powered unmanned surface vehicle and Blue Bear Systems Research will bring advanced autonomy software and their Blackstart unmanned air system.


* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Karen Smart appointed Managing Director of East Midlands Airport

Karen Smart, currently Director of Landside Operations at London Stansted Airport, has been appointed Managing Director of East Midlands Airport.

SafeSkys awarded RAF contract in Scotland

SafeSkys has been awarded the contract for provision of Airfield Wildlife Control Services for the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Scotland at RAF Lossiemouth, RLG Kinloss and RAF Leuchars.

Gatwick to trial autonomous vehicles

Gatwick is to be the first airport in the world to trial autonomous vehicles to shuttle staff across the airfield.

Somerset engineering students attend STEM event at RNAS Yeovilton

Colleges from Somerset recently attended a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) event at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton.

Pioneering treatment could save limbs on the battlefield

Biomedical engineers are pioneering a new technique for treating injured limbs which could reduce amputations after battlefield injuries

NATS signs cooperation agreement with HungaroControl

The UK-based air traffic services provider, NATS, has signed an agreement with its Hungarian counterpart, HungaroControl, with the view to collaborating on digital tower projects around the world.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
SMI FAVWSBT1402060618SMI FAVSABT2411120418FIL18 BT111017220718SMI HelicopterTBT1402240518Aviation Africa BT18418