Military research unit to develop ‘submarine-avoidance’ app

Written by Sam Trendall on 7 February 2020 in News
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MoD agency issues contract notice seeking supplier to help construct technology

Credit: Marco Verch/CC BY 2.0

The government’s military research unit is to develop an application to help the commanders execute “submarine-avoidance manoeuvres”.

According to a newly published contract notice from the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory, commanders on surface ships currently predict the whereabouts of enemy submarines by using “a simple time/distance location… based on its last contact”. 

Dstl wishes to explore how software could enable better use of all the data available on a ship to make more accurate predictions.

The research organisation wishes to develop a tool that could support anti-submarine warfare (ASW) commanders in “assessing all relevant information about the current environment and knowledge of the submarine’s capabilities to identify where a submarine could possibly be located and if it poses a threat”.


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“This will assist in the assigning of ASW assets,” Dstl added.

The organisation, which is an arm’s-length body of the Ministry of Defence, is seeking a supplier to create a prototype application during “a design sprint based on the Google venture method”.

This sprint exercise, which is expected to last 12 working days, will take place entirely at the supplier’s site. 

Dstl will provide serving military personnel specialised in anti-submarine warfare to offer their input during the process, and then test the prototype.

At the end of the sprint, the supplier should deliver to Dstl “design documentation, including [a] journey map, storyboard, prototype, and comments from user feedback”.

Individuals working on the project will require security clearance, and the contract notice states that “the contract is only available to UK nationals”.

Bids for the project are open until midnight on 20 February, with work scheduled to begin on 16 March. The deal will be worth an estimated £32,000 to the winning bidder.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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