QinetiQ to deliver Royal Navy's inaugural IW17 exercise
QinetiQ is to support the Royal Navy in delivering the first Information Warrior (IW17) exercise, which aims to drive the future development of cutting edge warfare capabilities.
Part of the exercise will be hosted at QinetiQ's Portsdown Technology Park.
The Royal Navy-led Information Warrior will develop and test a new innovative range of Information Warfare capabilities through a series of trials that will include Defensive Cyber Operations, Digital Influence Operations and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
As technology rapidly changes, the Royal Navy must be prepared to meet the challenges faced by AI, robotics, automation and quantum computing and understand how they can be used effectively to improve weapons targeting and survivability, while reducing risk and costs. Information Warrior will experiment, test and rehearse new innovative technology in a safe environment for the benefit of the Royal Navy.
Taking place between 27 March and 7 April, the exercise will be hosted at Royal Marine Barracks Stonehouse, Plymouth, and at QinetiQ’s Portsdown Technology Park in Portsmouth, which for 45 years has integrated and tested complex combat and communications equipment and software for all Royal Navy warships prior to their deployment at sea.
The exercise will demonstrate innovative ways of using and interpreting information and intelligence via five key themes, which QinetiQ will integrate into the overall exercise. The five themes will focus on:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): How building an ship’s AI ‘mind’ will enable the fleet to operate faster, better and more effectively
- Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I): Developing the most efficient and comprehensive computer system possible for the Navy
- Information Exploitation (IX): Exploiting open source information effectively
- Cyber and Electromagnetic Activity (CEMA): Offensive and defensive cyber operations to protect our nation’s interests
- Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR): Building the intelligence picture with unmanned systems to further enhance command decisions
Working in partnership with the Royal Navy, QinetiQ will also provide the critical infrastructure as well as logistical support and technical expertise to deliver the exercise. The event, the first in a series of Information Warriors, will provide a benchmark of current capability and allow for further testing over time with the intention of enabling greater involvement from industry.
Information Warrior is another example of QinetiQ’s ability to deliver its wider strategy to lead and modernise Test & Evaluation across the lifecycle, from experimentation and research of new capabilities through to training and rehearsal.
Sarah Kenny, QinetiQ Managing Director for Maritime, Land & Weapons said: “Ensuring that the Royal Navy and other services have the right environment and technical support to test, demonstrate and innovate in a safe environment is essential to helping our armed forces meet the challenges we face today around the world. Building on the success of At Sea Demonstration 2015 and Unmanned Warrior 2016, we have been able to use our expertise to make industry and the armed forces think differently and to innovate as to how information channels will develop in the future.”