Budgetary challenges mean that government departments are increasingly asked to deliver more with less. It is therefore essential that research and innovation supports the delivery of these challenges. However, the more disruptive the prospect, the higher the exploitation barriers tend to be.

Using a system of systems approach in the context of futures thinking, Arke has gained significant experience in assessing how technology or policy concepts may change the way capability is delivered. Typically, this support includes:

  • Force mix studies and potential utilisation within future force constructs
  • Analysis of research requirements to assist in Balance of Investment and to support the generation of coherent research programmes
  • Development, manufacture, operation and support assessment of potential exploitation routes, to provide an early understanding of likely cost and achievability impact
  • System integration requirements, including likely impacts on command and network infrastructure
  • Roadmaps covering exploitation barriers (e.g. technology readiness, ethical issues, commercial challenges, personnel aspects)

Example concepts analysed by Arke include Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) and unmanned systems.

The DEW concepts are being role and capability assessed to examine their potential for providing either an adjunct or substitute capability to existing weapon systems. This includes assessment of the current system physical munitions and their associated logistics burden.

The adoption of near-future and future unmanned technologies, from remote-operated to fully autonomous self-learning systems, could provide opportunities to both enhance personal safety and increase capability.