Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
01 Oct 21. Portugal Leads Multinational Test of Unmanned Maritime Technologies. Several NATO navies together with the navies of Australia and Brazil, industry, and research organisations have gathered in Portugal to take part in a large-scale experimentation to develop and test operational concepts and requirements, interoperability, technological advances, and new developments in sensors, actuators, command, control, and communications (C3), tactics and procedures on maritime unmanned systems (MUSs) in most maritime operations.
The live exercise (LIVEX) phase of ‘REP(MUS) 21′ [Robotic Experimentation Prototyping augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems] was co-organised by the Portuguese Navy, the University of Porto’s Faculty of Engineering, and NATO’s Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) and Maritime Unmanned Systems initiative (MUSI). The LIVEX was conducted from September 13 to 24 over an area of approximately 1,800 sq n miles between Tróia and Sesimbra.
The exercise focused on testing the capabilities of the new generation of MUSs in the three domains – above the water, on the water, and underwater – over a wide range of missions including mine countermeasures (MCM) tactical development and interoperability, over-the-horizon autonomous MCM, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), force protection, harbour protection, multidomain intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), amphibious battlefield preparation, and command-and-control (C2).
Joint C2 command, naval mine-warfare C2 information, and ASW C2 information hubs were established to conduct the operations.
‘REP(MUS) 21′ involved 17 navies; 11 ships including the Portuguese NRP Álvares Cabral frigate, NRP Tridente submarine, and NRP Sines and NRP Setúbal patrol vessels, the US Navy’s USNS Carson City expeditionary fast transport, and NATO’s NRV Alliance research vessel; about 900 personnel; 15 research and development (R&D) entities; one university; eight NATO organisations; and more than 20 companies. (Source: UAS VISION/Janes)
27 Sep 21. Turkey Shows Off with Drone Display at Istanbul’s Teknofest. With both transportation and entry free of charge, it would be no wonder if this years’ edition reached the two m Teknofest attendees of 2019. Despite organisers claims that the festival showcases civilian technology above all, the fighter jets get the most attention, especially the drones developed by the Bayraktar brothers.
After successful campaigns in Libya and Azerbaijan, the TB2 drone has become the flag-bearer for the Turkish defence industry. The newest model, the Akinci drone, boasts a double engine, has a 20-metre wingspan, and weighs in at six tonnes on liftoff.
Almost as popular as the drone is the pair who made it: Seljuk Bayraktar, President Erdogan’s son-in-law, and his brother Haluk. Their company took the Akinci drone from prototype to finished product in just two years, a feat.
“Turkey made a decision 20 years ago that Turkey will support its own companies,” says Haluk Bayraktar, Baykar’s CEO. “So, these drones will be native, so Turkey supported its own companies and start-ups. We were a start-up 20 years ago, seven people.”
Turkey is betting smaller, local actors will allow greater versatility and lead its military to complete self-sufficiency, creating a deadly fleet that can be bought for a price… and making its defence industry a force to be reckoned with. (Source: UAS VISION/France 24)
The British Robotics Seed Fund is the first SEIS-qualifying investment fund specialising in UK-based robotics businesses. The focus of the fund is to deliver superior returns to investors by making targeted investments in a mixed basket of the most innovative and disruptive businesses that are exploiting the new generation of robotics technologies in defence and other sector applications.
Automation and robotisation are beginning to drive significant productivity improvements in the global economy heralding a new industrial revolution. The fund allows investors to benefit from this exciting opportunity, whilst also delivering the extremely attractive tax reliefs offered by the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). For many private investors, the amount of specialist knowledge required to assess investments in robotics is not practical and hence investing through a fund structure makes good sense.
The fund appoints expert mentors to work with each investee company to further maximise the chance of success for investors. Further details are available on request.