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UK seeks smarter collaborative missile operations by mid-2020s

5th July 2021 - 13:05 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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CSWTD aims to enable networked collaborative weapon capabilities for the UK armed forces, in a similar way to the USAF Golden Horde programme (pictured). (Photo: USAF/Chris Quinlan)

The Co-operative Strike Weapons Technology Demonstrator seeks to improve the performance of current missiles and upgrade their software to allow them to work together.

The Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in the UK has received £3.5 million ($4.8 million) in funding to develop ‘innovative new missile systems’ by 2023 under the Co-operative Strike Weapons Technology Demonstrator (CSWTD) programme, the MoD announced on 1 July.

Dstl will lead efforts not only to improve the performance of current systems but also to explore inter-missile communication that would allow weapons systems to work together.

In this respect, the programme has parallels with the USAF Golden Horde Vanguard swarming munitions programme.

The UK project aims to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of missiles by ensuring that they can react to a changing threat or situation as it emerges.

Today, missiles used by the UK armed forces can communicate with the launch platform but not each other.

CSWTD seeks to change this by developing a software upgrade that allows cooperative behaviour.

Work began on CSWTD in April 2021. Currently, Dstl scientists are ‘assessing different military tactics and scenarios in close collaboration with industry partner MBDA’, the MoD noted.

It added that if a CSWTD demonstration proves successful, UK platforms could be exploiting the benefits of a smarter integrated network of missiles within five years.

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