Defence and Security: 3 Innovations Transforming the Future of the Industry

Most government defence departments around the world have one key difficulty in common – managing ever-changing potential threats within increasingly tighter budget constraints.

The UK is attempting to tackle this issue by launching a series of Innovation Challenges, providing funding to companies that can offer innovative new technologies and solutions for dealing with ongoing and future defence problems.

Sponsored by the UK Defence Solutions Centre (UKDSC) and the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE), it’s a great opportunity for the country to safeguard its defence strategy whilst also boosting appropriate businesses and research organisations.

In honour of these challenges, we’re running through our pick of the most exciting security and defence innovations of recent and coming years. Take a look.

#1: VR training

Once the territory of fictional sci-fi movies and comics, Virtual Reality (VR) technology is now being used by several different industries, including defence.

Currently, design and innovation consultancy Plextek has collaborated with the CDE to create a new immersive VR training programme (using VR headsets from Oculus Rift) for inexperienced pilots and tank drivers. It’s proven such a successful learning tool, they’re now considering how it can be incorporated into recruitment processes.

But these aren’t the only potential applications for VR tech within the army, navy and military. The next focus is further integrating it into combat training, flight simulations and battlefield medic training.

#2: Structural blast protection

Terrorist attacks are a very real threat for most defence establishments. To combat this potential danger, Invicta Fire Protection has developed state-of-the-art blast protection systems for securing buildings.

Using the latest manufacturing technology, these systems are formed from Durasteel, a concrete and steel structural material that’s noncombustible, light, durable and moisture resistant.

It’s designed to absorb the impact of a blast and keep occupants safe from harm until firefighters arrive, and is already being used to great effect in the defence industry and other public buildings.

#3: Drone technology

Drone technology has been around for a while, but in its new and improved form, it’s become an essential part of modern warfare.

Although they’ve previously been most useful in surveillance, the military is hoping that innovative swarming drones (which can take multiple hits and still recover) will increase their strength and effectiveness in attacks.

Raytheon is currently developing this kind of experimental drone platform for the US Department of Defence. It’s attempting to create artificial systems that can manage multiple taking off and landing processes, thereby giving just one person the opportunity to control several drones simultaneously.

These are just three innovations currently transforming defence industries around the world, but there are plenty of other technologies (like 3Dprinting and varying wearable devices) emerging. Hopefully, initiatives like the UK’s Innovation Challenges will drive progress and bring them into the market over the coming years.

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