Cutting-edge armoured vehicles, counter-improvised explosive device robots, unmanned aerial vehicles, and blood transport units were on display yesterday to mark National Science and Engineering Week.
The showcase event at Yeomanry House in London, organised by the Defence Industries Council and the Ministry of Defence, is part of an annual series of events celebrating science, engineering and technology.
The occasion gave an insight into current technologies being deployed in support of the Armed Forces, as well as a forward look at the scientific innovations which may one day add to the current impressive range of tools affording military personnel a ‘battle-winning’ edge.
Opening yesterday’s event at Yeomanry House, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, said:
“Today’s event celebrates the vital work of scientists, engineers and inventors who have helped cement the UK’s position as a world leader in science and research.
“Their discoveries are reaping benefits for the Armed Forces and civil society, helping to improve and protect lives.”
Industry exhibitors at the event joined Armed Forces personnel who are already benefiting from the latest cutting-edge technologies in the field.
These included personnel from 29 EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and Search Group and RAF unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) specialists, who recently combined ground technology and UAVs in Afghanistan to continually guard against threats such as IEDs.
Rear Admiral Rees Ward (Retd), Chief Executive Officer of Aerospace, Defence and Security and Secretary of the Defence Industries Council, said:
“This event is an excellent opportunity for the defence industry and the Ministry of Defence to demonstrate how we are working together to use the best of British innovation and technology to provide the best possible protection to our Armed Forces.
“We also hope that young people reading about the high-quality, high-tech kit on display will be enthused and encouraged to get involved in science, technology and engineering and go on to pursue successful careers in the industry.
“The ‘Defence Matters Campaign’, which has worked with the Ministry of Defence in organising this event, aims to inform people around the UK about the contribution the defence industry makes not just in terms of supporting our Armed Forces with the best equipment and service support available but also in terms of its economic contribution.”
Every year the UK Defence Sector recruits many hundreds of science and engineering graduates.
The MOD has a 13,000-strong workforce of engineers and scientists forming the Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG). These specialists are involved at every stage, from the research and development of new technologies through to their procurement and readiness for the front line.
Indeed, the MOD has deployed more scientists to the front line in recent operations than at any time since the Second World War.