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UK MOD backs development of ‘smarter’ missile systems

missile systems

The ministry has injected new funding in the development of co-operative strike missile technology.

The ministry has injected new funding in the development of co-operative strike missile technology.

The Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL) has secured £3.5 million ($6.4 million) in funding from the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) to support its Co-operative Strike Weapons Technology Demonstrator (CSWTD) project.

The DSTL-led project aims to improve the flexibility and responsiveness of missile systems by enhancing interoperability between systems through software upgrades, ensuring they can adapt to changes in the battlespace.


The funding, which forms part of a broader £6.6 billion ($12.1 billion) investment in defence research and development, is expected to support the delivery of future co-operative missiles, including hardware and software, while also providing systems studies informing the use of co-operative missiles in operational scenarios.

“Drawing on the vital expertise of our DSTL scientists, innovative new missile systems will enhance our current capabilities as Defence adapts to meet future threats,” Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said.

“With an investment into research and development, this project highlights the central role science and technology plays in informing how our assets operate.”

A DSTL spokesperson noted the limitations of current systems.

“Currently missiles can communicate with the launch platform but not each other,” the spokesperson said.

“The aim of this programme is to investigate how inter-missile communication and co-operative behaviours can be technically achieved to solve UK military challenges.”

Work on the project first commenced in April this year and is expected to continue over the next two years.

At present, DSTL scientists are assessing different military tactics and scenarios in close collaboration with industry partner MBDA.

Demonstrations are expected to be conducted through the life of the project, with the technology potentially integrated with UK platforms within five years.

[Related: US approves sale of F-16 aircraft, missiles to the Philippines]

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