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Dstl showcases ongoing tech projects from its labs at Porton Down

British soldiers and an UGV-mounted sensor taking part in this year's CUE21 experiment in Portmouth, Hampshire. The experiment used new technology to address the complexities of developing situational awareness in an urban environment. (Dstl)

The UK Ministry of Defence's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) opened up its facilities in Porton Down, Wiltshire, to a select group of journalists on 1 December to showcase a number of the future technology projects on which it is working. Among the projects on display were a new situational awareness (SA) architecture focused on military operations in urban environments and an assault rifle concept featuring a fused multispectral surveillance and target acquisition system.

Originally developed to help protect key assets, as its name suggests, the Sensors for Asset Protection using Integrated Electronic Network Technology (SAPIENT) system was deployed in Portsmouth, Hampshire, from 27 September until 15 October for this year's Contested Urban Environment experiment (CUE21). This was the first time the experiment – initiated as part of The Technical Co-operation Program (TTCP) among the Five Eyes alliance involving the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – took place in the UK, having been postponed from last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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