The Army Warfighting Experiment 2021: Embracing Technology for the future

The British Army together with industry partners are coming together this month for the Army Warfighting Experiment 2021 (AWE 21). Taking place on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, it will enhance future technological training capabilities on the battlefield.

The recently announced Integrated Review has set the British Army on a course of evolution from an industrial age to a digital age force. The future battlefield will be different and therefore we need to employ new and innovative training methods: AI, virtual reality, simulation etc. Our collective training must be ready to support this step change.

AWE 21 seeks to harness technology to prepare for complex future warfare. It has been designed to experiment with and showcase next generation Collective Training Systems (CTS) to inform future Army and wider Defence force development decisions.” Lieutenant General Sir Christopher Tickell KBE,
Deputy Chief of the General Staff

The Army Warfighting Experiment has been the flagship innovation experimentation programme for the British Army for the past decade, forging relationships with industry and messaging our allies and adversaries that the British Army is looking to the future with cutting-edge technological advances.

AWE 21 will offer an insight into what the Army is seeking to create through collaborative relationships with industry academia, allies, and partners.

The series has consistently delivered high quality evidence and insight for the Army and invaluable military feedback to industry. It explores technology suitable for exploitation, it pushes the boundaries of technology and military capability, testing a range of prototype systems by putting them in the hands of the user.

Collective Training is the focus of AWE 21 with an aim at informing a change programme in the forthcoming Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP).

Lieutenant General Sir Christopher Tickell KBE, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff looks ahead to the event:

“AWE 21 seeks to harness technology to prepare for complex future warfare. It has been designed to experiment with and showcase next generation Collective Training Systems.”

The AWE 21 experiment has submitted 5 challenges to industry which will enable transition from conception to practical working technology:

  1. To Provide a common, immersive, and credible synthetic wrap that seamlessly supports training across Live, Virtual and Constructive environments.
  2. Transform the quality of, and replicate scale within, the Urban Training environment.
  3. Provide an immersive, complex, and multifaceted A3ES ecosystem that challenges the training audience across the human, physical and information domains.
  4. Improve the capture, access, feedback, and exploitation of data across all data systems.
  5. Demonstrate a single, deployable, and scalable Connectivity solution.

At the experimental stage, a total of 31 products will be showcased over a two-week period with Personnel from a range of British Army units putting these new innovations and technological advances to the test in both real time and simulated assessments.

A vast array of initiatives will be showcased: Live and virtual training aides will include the replication of urban environments and advanced methods of improving the capture and exploitation of data. Wearable technology that appraises personnel during training cycles will be trialled and the utilisation of mobile large area 3D scanning will also be in evidence.

We are widely regarded as the best Army of our size in the world and ours is a model that others reference. AWE 21 will display that The British Army is constantly adapting to meet the challenges ahead rather than those rapidly disappearing in the rear-view mirror.