UK MoD showcases industry response to Urgent Operational Requirements
Inspect-a-Gadget Defence Showcase
Laurent Rathborn reporting on site
The Honourable Artillery Company
The latest in defence technology was on show last Friday at an expo in Armoury House, home of the Honourable Artillery Company. The recent deep defence cuts have spurred a number of innovative technical solutions to various Ministry of Defence Urgent Operational Requirements, some of which were on display.
Whilst some of the systems were an evolution of currently-deployed technologies, some advanced concepts, currently in their trial phases, were also available for physical examination. Companies from across the sector were keen to showcase their latest products, which ranged from a system to safely land helicopters in "brownout" conditions to an incoming fire acoustic location system for infantry use.
Speaking briefly at the showcase, which marked National Science and Engineering Week, Defence Equipment Support and Technology Minister Peter Luff spoke of the need for continued high-tech, industry-leading innovation in the wake of deep defence cuts. Calling for more small and large scale innovation as a key to future military effectiveness, he stressed the continuing need to inspire future generations of engineers and technical personnel.
Highlighting some of the technology on display as "world-beating", he called for continued development to maintain the cutting edge that the sector currently enjoys. Vendors were also upbeat about future prospects, with one forecasting a "resurgent market" as suppliers adapted to new government budgetary constraints.