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Defense innovation. The UK is hiring new talent

The British Ministry of Defense has opened a call for 300 scientists, physicists and engineers to work in the field of artificial intelligence, big data and the Internet. They will be employed by the DSTL, a laboratory that conducts advanced research in the military field, including new autonomous vehicles and satellites. Meanwhile, the new British Space Command is working…

Her Majesty’s Defense seeks out new talents. As many as 300 physicists, scientists, engineers and experts in new technologies, are set to swell the ranks of the Defense Science and Technology Laboratories (Dstl), the center that deals with advanced research in the military field. The call makes it clear that it is “the largest recruitment campaign in recent years”, to be included in the overarching commitment that British Defense is making to modernize it within the strategic vision of global Britain.


The DSTL currently employs 4,500 people, divided into four locations throughout the general territory. The headquarters are located in Porton Down, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. Since 2018, the laboratory has been leading Doug Ombers, which boasts a long management history in the private sector between consulting and telecom companies. The DSTL is configured to serve as the executive agency of the Ministry of Defense, with the mission to “maximize the impact of science and technology for UK defense and security”. It has its own budget and procurement, which focuses on research and development programs that are at the forefront of technological innovation. The 300 new talent will be able to deal with different areas: space sensors, cyber, electronics, big data analysis, artificial intelligence and communications. It looks “in particular” at people who have already worked on these issues and who “may never have thought before working on defense.” Applications are open until the end of August. In 2022 there will be another call.

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Strategic reference

This underscores the British defense’s renewed interest in innovation, which is now central to international comparison. The strategic reference is the “defense paper” signed by the minister in March Ben Wallace, a document derived directly from “Integrated Review – Global Britain in a Competitive Era”, which was submitted a week ago by Boris Johnson. To support the strategic ambitions of a great power and confront competition (Russia is in the lead), the Defense Paper pays close attention to disruptive technologies. In the face of the expected reduction in personnel (announced reductions of 10,000 units), the defense will increase investments in innovation. Presenting the document, Wallace spoke of an increase in “last-generation, forward-looking robots, drones and cyber weapons.”

Focus on innovation

The plan as a whole calls for the defense budget to be increased by an additional 24 billion pounds over four years, from a budget of about 40 billion in 2020. Priority will be given to “the development and integration of new technologies” in areas including “space, direct energy weapons, and hypersonic missiles.” the sound”. There are 6 billion pounds (in four years) for research and development, 1.1 of which is for science and technology (mainly for DSTL). On the other hand, Johnson made it clear at the launch of Global Britain, “We must maintain the state of our great scientific and technological power.”


To give the essence of ambition, there are the latest projects launched by the DSTL. A few days ago, the lab awarded a £1.5 million contract to Horimba Mira, a car automation company, to adapt the Viking (6×6 multi-role self-driving vehicle) to identify chemical, biological and radiological threats. Last year, the DSTL purchased three of these vehicles, which are already equipped with artificial intelligence to move with complete autonomy. They are part of the Theseus program, which aims to identify advanced logistics solutions in operating scenarios.

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Satellite communications…

On the other hand, the contract awarded to In-Space Missions to build the Titania satellite, when it was launched in 2023 to test “the next generation of communications technologies”, is worth £9.5 million. The project aims to investigate the opportunities generated by free space “Fsoc” optical communications that, compared to conventional radio communications, use optical or infrared frequencies, increasing the amount of data that can be transmitted and reducing the risk of interception. Titania, named after the Queen of the Fairies A Midsummer Night’s Dream Shakespeare, he will communicate with Puck, not the imp, but a visual ground station.

…and space order

The focus on space pervades the entire UK defense. On July 30, the Minister of Military Procurement Jeremy Quinn Officially launched the new British Space Command. It is based at Wycombe Air Force Base, about fifty kilometers northwest of London, and is headed by the Air Vice Marshal. Paul Godfrey. It is configured as a “joint” command, with access to personnel from all armed forces. It operates in three areas: Space operations. employee training and growth; capacity and development programmes. Along with the DSTL and Strategic Command, he was also called upon to work on “ensuring multi-domain integration between different environments,” a now indisputable development of military affairs.

Earl Warner

"Devoted bacon guru. Award-winning explorer. Internet junkie. Web lover."

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