IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

AI will help Royal Navy warships detect combat threats

Currently in testing, AI could help Navy warships react to threats faster

AI is to become an integral part of maritime operations run by the Royal Navy, helping its warships detect and assess threats in combat scenarios.

The artificial intelligence software, called Startle, will be supplied by Roke Manor Research to help the Navy detect and tackle impending threats.

Startle is a machine situational awareness software that works through a combination of different algorithms and intelligence features.

Engineered to reflect the human brain's conditioned fear-response mechanism, the system can scan complex environments and learn to detect threats more easily, based on those it has previously encountered.

After two successful initial phases that proved Roke could use Startle to analyse complex data, the Navy's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) has commissioned a third phase of the 1 million project.

In this phase, the tool will be integrated into DSTL's maritime combat system demonstrator called the Open Architecture Combat System (OACS), which replicates combat situations Navy staff may find themselves in.

Mike Hook, lead software architect on Startle, said: "The clever part comes in the way these potential threats are detected and the way our software redistributes resources to decide if they are real - all in the blink of an eye."

"This is an exciting project for us. Traditional methods of processing data can be inefficient so we have looked at the human brain's tried and tested means of detecting and assessing threats to help us design a better way to do it."

If put into use in real combat situations, Startle would be integrated into existing warship sensor suites, and its ability to detect and assess potential threats is designed to help a warship's human staff make decisions faster. 

In future, Startle could also become a useful integration for self-driving cars, as well as health and usage monitoring, Roke said.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

Cambridge crowned UK’s most AI-ready city
artificial intelligence (AI)

Cambridge crowned UK’s most AI-ready city

22 Jul 2022
What is machine learning?
Business strategy

What is machine learning?

19 Jul 2022
Government launches Defence Centre for AI Research
artificial intelligence (AI)

Government launches Defence Centre for AI Research

15 Jul 2022
The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Watson Assistant
Whitepaper

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Watson Assistant

4 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Cyber attack on software supplier causes "major outage" across the NHS
cyber attacks

Cyber attack on software supplier causes "major outage" across the NHS

8 Aug 2022
Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
Electrical explosion reported at Google's Iowa data centre
data centres

Electrical explosion reported at Google's Iowa data centre

9 Aug 2022