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Testing the next generation of technology

03 April 2017

More than 200 personnel from 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, 51 Squadron RAF Regiment and 45 Commando, have been putting new and innovative kit and capabilities through their paces on Salisbury Plain Training Area in Wiltshire this month, as they took part in the third phase of the Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) 17.

AWE 17 has been at the forefront of the drive for world-class innovation at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) in which businesses and organisations, both large and small, were invited to submit solutions to a range of ‘problems’ set by the AWE team and were able to compete on a level playing field.  From the 275 initial submissions, 72 products, from a self-sterilizing water bottle and a 56 foot ‘EasiBridge’ were selected for the project.

AWE has been a unique opportunity for the Armed Forces to refine their future requirements by influencing the development of prospective new capabilities, and for industry to understand the requirements of the Armed Forces.

1 Mercian soldiers demonstrate the use of DMM Urban Vertical Access tools.
The ‘Experiment’ culminated in a day of demonstrations and industry stands set up around the village of Copehill Down on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, where visitors, both from the military and industry, were able to see the equipment at first hand and to talk to the specialist manufacturers and troops involved.

One developer taking part in the experiment produced a two-part lift and pulley system designed to create an efficient and practical method for rescuing a casualty such as a driver, navigator or commander either through the turret or the rear door of an armoured vehicle. Called the Armoured Casualty Evacuation Rescue System (ACERS), the life saving capability has the potential to take vital minutes off of the time it would take to get the casualty out of a damaged vehicle and to medical aid.
James Morris, Land Section Head with the DE&S technology office said: “AWE has been a huge success and hopefully what we have learnt will be offered up to inform future procurement activities.”

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