Military & Industry Collaborate to Deliver Explosive Protection System for UK Armed Forces

The project will develop equipment designed to be carried by soldiers, fitted to vehicles, and protect military bases by detecting and disrupting explosive devices using advanced techniques across the electromagnetic spectrum By DA Reporter / 31 Oct 2022
British soldiers from B Company on patrol in the Nahr-e Seraj District of Helmand Province.

Soldiers, vehicles, and UK military bases around the world will receive innovative digital protection against remote and radio controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) through a £45 million contract with British industry partners.

Under the contract awarded to Team Protect, the work – called Project CRENIC – sees UK military experts collaborate with small and medium businesses over the next five years.

Team Protect is comprised of Marshall Land Systems, PA Consulting, Leonardo, and Leidos Innovations UK. As part of Project CRENIC, the companies will develop a range of equipment designed to be carried by soldiers, fitted to vehicles, and protect military bases by detecting and disrupting explosive devices using advanced techniques across the electromagnetic spectrum.

The contract will sustain over 50 jobs around England, including in the North-West, East and South-West. The project aims to support and create further jobs through contracts with small and medium enterprises.

“Our Armed Forces dedicate their lives to protecting and securing our nation. As the technology used by our adversaries to threaten our people and operations evolves, we are innovating to meet the challenge,” said Defence Procurement Minister, Alec Shelbrooke MP. “This project brings together pioneering UK technology and industry to create a world leading protection system for our Armed Forces.”

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The new system will be supported by the Defense Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Architecture, which uses a common set of hardware and software open technology standards, equivalent to desktop computers and cellular phone software, to allow for wider industry participation and support reconfiguration for other military uses.

This will allow the Armed Forces to modify the solutions in the future and allow for greater collaboration with allies.

“CRENIC is a key project led by Strategic Command, the Defense lead for the Cyber and Electromagnetic Domain and Multi-Domain Integration,” said Major General Robin Anderton-Brown, Director Capability Strategic Command. “Incorporating cutting-edge technology and adopting an agile acquisition approach, CRENIC will deliver a world-leading capability to protect our forces deployed on global operations.”

Using the Defense CEMA Architecture, Project CRENIC will enable information to be shared across multiple domains, making it the first capability to directly support Multi-Domain Integration. This means information only needs to be collected once and can then be used many times. The project is expected to support electronic warfare in the future, including countering remotely piloted air systems.

“We are delighted that Team Protect has been selected to be the System Integrator (SI) for this project. The work marks a strong progression of the collaborative approach between industry and the Ministry of Defence to deliver innovative solutions to keep UK forces safe,” said Peter Lovell, Global Head of Defence and Security at PA Consulting, on behalf of Team Protect. “The team has deep and extensive experience across vital capabilities, including complex programme delivery, engineering, agile software development, and digital transformation. We will deliver this project and keep UK forces safer by leveraging our relative strengths – using ingenuity to help deliver a positive human future.”

A cutting-edge integration laboratory facility will also be established to support the development of the system. The laboratory will promote innovation and experimentation as the new capability evolves against emerging threats.

First deliveries of the new equipment for vehicle and soldier carried systems for use on operations are due to take place in 2026. Equipment will be incrementally deployed and will evolve to meet the needs of the British Army, Royal Marines, and Royal Air Force land forces long into the future.

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