The Defence Secretary of UK Gavin Williamson announced Sunday the country’s plan to invest up to £80 million in a new computer system to boost the RAF’s speed and accuracy in protecting the skies.
Known as Project Guardian, the new Air Command and Control System will support the continued early detection and rapid response to potential hostile or suspect aircraft that pose a threat to UK sovereignty, be that terrorists or state-based actors.
This project will see the current systems at RAF bases in the UK and Falkland Islands replaced with the new technology. It will allow the RAF to exercise command and control of UK and NATO fighters to intercept aggressive or suspect aircraft that are a threat. The RAF routinely intercept, identify and escort aircraft that transit international airspace within the UK’s area of interest and continue to be on call 365 days a year.
IBM Services in the UK is leading the way to develop and install the replacement system, with work being carried out by a dedicated team of specialists at IBM locations across the country.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “With hostile regimes such as President Putin’s Kremlin ripping up the international rulebook and terrorists still targeting our way of life, this cutting-edge technology gives our RAF the upper hand in the face of rapidly changing and intensifying global threats.
“This investment will play a vital role in making sure our fighter pilots are primed and ready to keep Britain safe and to counter aggression from those who seek to cause us harm,” he added.
The Air Command and Control System is the computer system that takes in data to generate the Recognised Air Picture – a dynamic, real time depiction of aircraft in the airspace the UK control or patrol, with each being identified as friendly or hostile. The upgrades will continue improving the rapid exchange of real time command and control information and speed and accuracy of decision making.
The announcement comes as the RAF celebrates 100 years since its formation and demonstrates how the service is continuously looking at ways to design and innovate to meet the full spectrum of threats that the UK is currently facing.
The contract, which IBM UK won in competition, is for approximately £60 million with costed options that the MOD can exercise which would take the total value towards £80 million. It represents a continuation of IBM UK supplying the equipment to UK armed forces and includes five years of support services following the installations.
Director Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance, Dr Simon Dakin, of the MOD’s procurement organisation, Defence Equipment and Support, said: “Guardian will provide a new Air Command and Control system connecting the UK’s defence network of radars and radio and delivering several new capabilities to improve communication and interoperability between UK, NATO and coalition aircraft, vital to the protection of the UK’s skies.”
Group Captain Steven Blockley, director of the RAF’s Director, National Air Defence and Space Operations, said: “The new system provides a quantum leap in technology and information exchange for the personnel charged with the Defence of the Homeland and will ensure that future homeland operations are conducted with equipment befitting the RAF as it reaches its 100th year.
“The equipment will ensure that new digital technologies, along with new requirements for future capabilities, will also allow us to seamlessly exchange data and threat information across the new RAF platforms, such as the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and F-35 Lightning II, as well as continue to integrate with our NATO colleagues to ensure the UK National mission to protect our skies and the NATO Air Policing task are met fully”.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced that they will re-join the Boxer programme via the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation, or OCCAR to procure the Boxer 8x8 vehicle to meet the requirements for their Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme. ARTEC is a joint venture between Rheinmetall (64%) and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (36%)
The United Kingdom has plans to set up a chemical weapons research facility citing threats from Russia and North Korea. News agencies reported that an announcement to this effect is likely from British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson today
The UK Defense Ministry has signed a Foreign Military Sale agreement valued £260 million with the US Government to support RAF C-17 heavy lift transport aircraft into the next decade. The Foreign Military Sale agreement will provide support for the RAFs fleet of eight C-17A Globemaster III aircraft, which provided lifesaving humanitarian relief following Hurricane Irma last summer, the ministry announced on February 17
The UKs Royal Navy has received the first of a fleet of new Commando Merlin Mk4 helicopters designed for Royal Marine aircraft carrier operations. They have been acquired to replace the veteran Sea Kings
UK's new Sea Ceptor missile system worth £850 million meant to protect Royal Navys new aircraft carriers has entered service. “Sea Ceptor provides a shield against airborne threats, including hostile combat jets, helicopters and other missiles, and has been developed and manufactured through Ministry of Defence contracts worth around £850m,” UK MoD said in a statement Thursday
Britain has unveiled a major defense space strategy where the countrys air force would be responsible for “command and control” of the nations space missions, aiming to safeguard UK operations against “emerging space-based threats”. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has vowed to bring the number of specialists working in the countrys defense space sector to 600 which is a 20- percent jump from what Britain currently has, the ministry said in a release Monday during first ever UK Defence Space Conference
Astronaut In Space Station Hacks into Same-Sex Spouse's Bank Account
Pentagon Orders $2.4B Worth F-35 Parts from Lockheed Martin
General Atomics Demos New Capabilities of MQ-9B SkyGuardian
North Korea Practicing Bombing with WWII Era AN-2 Biplanes
India's First Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile Ready
Russian AF to Receive Upgrade Su-30SM Jet with Engine from Su-35 Fighter...
Turkish Air Force Seeks Su-35 after F-35 Deal Collapse
China to Debut Black Hawk Competitor, Z-20 Helicopter in October Event
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...
Russian state-run Almaz-Antey has released additional data on its latest export-version of Buk-M3 Viking air defense missile system (ADMS)
The MiG-29, one of Russias most exported military jet has been upgraded in India that expands its capabilities from an...