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The military is in the midst of a journey to create a military Internet of Things (IoT)


At Universal Defence and Security Solutions, we're closely following the transformative journey of the military into the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT). As highlighted by our co-chair, General Sir Richard Barrons,  this evolution is reshaping how the military operates.

The Concept of Military IoT

The military IoT is about harnessing advanced technologies initially developed for civilian use – think billions in civil sector investment. This includes data in the cloud, AI, robotics, autonomy, and cyber-resilient networks. These innovations are converging to revolutionise military operations, moving beyond traditional methods.

Building a Digital Backbone

A key aspect of this transformation, as Barrons notes, is establishing a “digital backbone” for armed forces. This backbone is a synergy of secure cloud data, managed and distributed by AI through cyber-resilient networks. It allows for the creation of large, synthetic replicas of operational environments – a 'single synthetic environment' that brings unprecedented scale and complexity to military planning and training.

The Commercial-Military Partnership

An interesting shift Barrons observes is the origin of these technologies. Unlike past military innovations, many of these advancements stem from the commercial sector. This trend underscores the need for stronger partnerships between the armed forces and tech companies. Barrons advocates for a shift in the acquisition system, favouring spiralled development and partnerships over outdated, static specifications.

The Future of Armed Forces

This shift towards a military IoT and the digital backbone presents immense opportunities, according to Barrons. We're looking at an evolution from forces primarily reliant on equipment and personnel to a dynamic blend of manned, unmanned, and autonomous systems. The advantages are clear: these platforms are less costly to acquire, as they don't require human onboard, making them smaller, more disposable, and cheaper to maintain. There's also less concern over loss, as these systems don't wear out from training and can be easily updated.

The pathway that General Sir Richard Barrons outlines is not just an upgrade; it's a complete reimagining of military operations. At Universal Defence and Security Solutions, we're excited about the potential of the military IoT to bring about more efficient, cost-effective, and adaptable armed forces. As we bridge the gap between military needs and commercial tech advancements, the future of defence looks more agile, intelligent, and robust.

This article is abridged from an article featured in Shephard Media, 'Redefining Modern Warfare: Multi-Domain Operations and the Shift to Integrated Communications across the Force'.