Research base will give defence sector a boost

Recent visit by the First Sea Lord to the Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems on Portsdown Hill, Portsmouth.'The centre is dedicated to promoting next generation engineering solutions.
Recent visit by the First Sea Lord to the Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems on Portsdown Hill, Portsmouth.'The centre is dedicated to promoting next generation engineering solutions.

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CUTTING-EDGE technology being developed by researchers at a new defence base will ‘invigorate the global market’, according to the head of the navy.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas has visited the Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems, which has been tasked by the government with exploring the advancement of maritime technology.

Adml Zambellas visited the site, at Portsdown Technology Park, to see some of the work on unmanned boats, underwater vehicles and aircraft in a maritime environment.

The site has been developed by the Defence Growth Partnership – a joint initiative between the government and the defence industry aimed at growing the country’s defence sector.

Adml Zambellas said: ‘I was delighted to visit the centre.

‘The Royal Navy is pursuing a powerful instinct to exploit maritime autonomous systems and we have been working with the Defence Growth Partnership for over a year now in support of the prime minister’s initiative to deliver an innovative, competitive and vibrant defence sector.

‘The centre of excellence will help transform not just how we deliver maritime security but also help invigorate the global market for this new, leading and game-changing technology.’

The facility brings together specialist teams including, academics, scientists, engineers and naval experts.

It has been given funding from the government, the defence industry and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Its job is to build on the UK’s current expertise in next-generation technology and develop new methods in mine countermeasures and long-duration evidence gathering.

The Ministry of Defence predicts it is a market that could be worth around £9bn to the UK.

Victor Chavez, chief executive of Thales UK and sponsor of the Intelligent Systems group within the Defence Growth Partnership, said: ‘We were delighted to host the First Sea Lord at the centre, which is already making significant progress in exploring the potential impact of cutting-edge technologies on maritime operations.’