British Army Creates Experimental Trials Group to Speed Up Understanding and Fielding of New Technology

BAE Systems Terrier armoured vehicle
BAE Systems Terrier armoured vehicle

The British Army has formed an Experimentation and Trials Group (ETG) to trial, experiment with and develop new technology. The aim is to speed up the process of turning emerging technologies into equipment that can be fielded.

Trials and development units within the Army will come under its command. A new dedicated Experimentation Battalion (2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment), to be known as the Next Generation Combat Team (NGCT), will be at the forefront from September this year.

This development will support the Army’s Future Soldier programme which aims to counter threats and employ cutting edge technology in future battlefields. Topics that are already being studied include how to break the military’s reliance on the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system, understanding that this is a vulnerability that potential aggressors will seek to disrupt. It is at the heart of military systems across all services, particularly in navigation and targeting.

One example of this is the jointly funded ATLAS project between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Horiba MIRA, According to the company, this is a “navigation system [that] uses advanced perception and Artificial Intelligence to recognise landmarks from an onboard camera which are compared against a digital map database to provide localisation and navigation.”

This will be trialled on the tracked BAE Systems Terrier armoured vehicle. The system’s advantages are claimed to include: immunity to electronic warfare; no requirement to have pre-driven the route; resillience to landscape changes; and the ability to fit the system into conventional manned vehicles or unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).

by Jr Ng