On November 10, 2022, the UK Ministry of Defense published a story about their participation in Project Convergence, an exercise being conducted in the US with Australian and US forces.
Allies from the UK, US and Australia demonstrated the integration of cutting-edge technology alongside key industry leaders in a series of experimental premieres.
The event, Project Convergence 2022, explores how the use of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and autonomy can improve situational awareness on the battlefield, connect sensors to gunners and accelerate decision making.
At Fort Irwin, California, the United Kingdom deployed 450 troops and 17 technologies were demonstrated and experimented with, including long-range fire, unmanned aerial systems, autonomous combat vehicles and next-generation sensors.
The Rangers worked with the US Special Operations Forces and 75th Ranger Regiment to study the deployment and use of the British Army’s new Special Operations Brigade and Ranger Regiment.
In delivering the British part of the project, 450 British Army soldiers under the British 20th Armored Combat Brigade Team (20 ABCT) were assisted by more than 20 scientists and engineers from the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory.
Experimentation, science, and research enable better data collection and analysis to identify successes and address challenges for future warfare. Supported by industry partners, PC22 was a full force demonstration of the direction of modernization in the British Army.
Secretary of Defense Alex Chalk, who participated in the project, said:
Delivering on our ambitions outlined in Future Soldier and the Integrated Review, Project Convergence highlights the progress the British Army is making through vital collaboration with our long-standing international allies and partners to become a deadlier, more agile and more expeditionary force.
The project also saw a number of other firsts for the UK:
- A British air surveillance radar (Giraffe) has connected to a US network to control and manage targets (usually a US-only system) for the exchange of battlefield data.
- ZODIAC, a British artificial intelligence decision support system capable of helping commanders make decisions, has been linked to US “sensors” and is feeding information into a multinational intelligence network.
- A US F35 fighter jet has launched fire for a British GMLRS missile platform without requiring a person to be in the loop, cutting attack time from minutes to seconds.
- The UK has been 3D printing US parts, helping them get supplies close at hand and sharing technical designs of vehicle and weapon parts.
- UK HoloLens (augmented reality lenses) were used to help logisticians and maintenance workers fix equipment that was assisted by a technical expert on the other side of the world.
- Supported by 1 Signal Regiment, a complex multinational network was built, allowing the 20th Armored Brigade Combat Team to quickly share information with our international partners.
- In a significant collaboration between new Experimentation and Trials Group, TommyWorks, DE&S and our industry partners, the British Army’s first Robotics Autonomous Close Combat Platoon has been digitally integrated with our allies by 2 YORKS for the first time.
Through the tri-national collaboration, Project Convergence has placed a renewed focus on how to turn data into information that can be leveraged across weapon systems for the UK, our allies and partners. Assistance from the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) ensured a wealth of data and analysis was captured that will be used to determine the best path for deploying these technologies in the future.
The 1st Cavalry Division participated in Project Convergence 2022, an experiment that offers opportunities to access future warfare strategies, including how the all-service and multinational force can work together to counter threats from September 29 to November 9 in Recognize and defeat Fort Irwin, California.
FORT IRWIN, CA
Video by Sgt. Brayton Daniel
Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs