in Defence / Events

Royal Navy pioneers new age of information warfare

Posted 15 February 2017 · Add Comment

This March the Royal Navy is developing and testing an innovative range of Information Warfare capabilities, working with industry leaders in defence, aerospace and security on Exercise 'Information Warrior 17'.

Integrated into the Royal Navy’s first big exercise of the year Joint Warrior 17/1, the Navy and Industry will drive the development of cutting edge warfare capabilities through a series of trials that will include Offensive and Defensive Cyber Operations, Influence Operations and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Colonel Dan Cheesman Royal Marines, the Project Director, said: “The pace and scale of technological change in the world today is breath-taking. The Royal Navy is no less affected than anyone else by the challenges of cheap, smartphone computing power with high-grade encryption.  And more is coming in the Internet of Things. Artificial Intelligence, robotics, automation and quantum computing are all future uncertainties.  As a result, the Royal Navy, priding itself on its long history of world-leading innovation, is focused on the implications for maritime and littoral warfare in the Information Age.”

The aim of Information Warrior is to further enhance the operational effectiveness of RN warships, submarines and the Royal Marines on the ground to enable them to meet future challenges.  These newly enhanced capabilities will improve weapons targeting, survivability, reduce risk and costs, while enabling the most integrated operational output from all arms of the Royal Navy.

Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord, said: “We are living in a data-driven age in which our adversaries are exploiting the potential of Information Warfare, and we must respond in kind. The Royal Navy stands ready to lead the charge in the information domain, just as we do at sea, from the sea and in the air over the sea. 

"Exercise Information Warrior will push the boundaries of innovation, by introducing cyber, information exploitation and artificial intelligence into the UK’s most important multi-national maritime exercise, Joint Warrior.  We want to bring new skills and capabilities into service quickly, but also forge lasting relationships with industry and academia. Our aim is to establish the Royal Navy as the leading advocate, innovator and practitioner of Information Warfare, both within UK Defence, and also with our key international partners.”

The five themes of Information Warrior 17 are:

1.    AI – how building an AI ‘ship’s brain’ will enable the fleet to operate faster, better and more effectively
2.    C4 – developing the most efficient and comprehensive computer system possible for the Navy
3.    IX – exploiting the information that is out there
4.    CEMA – offensive and defensive cyber operations to protect our nation’s interests
5.    ISR – building the intelligence picture with unmanned systems to further enhance our commander’s decisions

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