Government commits £30m to boost UK military battlefield app development

The funding is in addition to its robotic projects contribution announced earlier this week

Army tank

The government has announced it's going to pump an additional 30 million into the development of battlefield apps, following yesterday's announcement that it would be contributing 66 million to military robotics projects.

The money is going to be invested via the government's Transformation Fund, which aims to speed up innovation in the public sector, specific the armed forces.

It will allow app developers to create and improve applications for use on the frontline, whether dealing with a natural disaster or battle scenario. Potential applications could be to visualise data, automate processes or provide insights to those in the field.

"From major natural disasters to the frontline on the battlefield, our Armed Forces are quick to react and even quicker to adapt," said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. "This technology matches that agility by enabling the creation of specialist digital applications that are tailored, secure and responsive."

The project has been dubbed PREDA - Platform for Rapid Exploitation of Digital Applications - and will allow defence specialists to respond to demands from the ground, ensuring the software is fit for purpose, secure and can be deployed as fast as possible.

A similar platform has been developed by the United States Air Force (USAF) and US Marine Corps, which focuses on getting apps deployed as quickly as possible to ground troops and commanders. So far, it has developed 18 applications covering planning, command and control functions at its Air Operations Centers.

"By deploying this technology into the hands of our military, from sailors serving in the Caribbean, to pilots working in the Middle East, we will ensure we have a fighting force fit for the future, equipped with state-of-the-art technology at their fingertips," Williamson added.

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