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Project CRENIC Explosive Devices Protection System

Visualisation of CRENIC IED protection system [Crown Copyright]

UK Armed Forces are to benefit from £45 million contract for Team Protect Project CRENIC life-saving explosive devices protection system.

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Press Release, Whitehall, 28 October 2022: Soldiers, vehicles and UK military bases around the world will receive innovative digital protection against remote and radio controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) through a £45 million contract with British industry.

Under the contract awarded to Team Protect, the work – called Project CRENIC – sees UK military experts collaborate with small and medium businesses during the next five years. Team Protect compromises of PA Consulting, Leonardo, Leidos Innovations UK, and Marshall Land Systems. This contract will sustain more than 50 jobs around the country, including in the North-West, East and South-West of England. The project aims to support and create further jobs through contracts with small and medium enterprises.

The project will develop equipment designed to be carried by soldiers, fitted to vehicles and protect military bases by detecting and disrupting explosive devices using advanced techniques across the electromagnetic spectrum. Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk said: “Our Armed Forces dedicate their lives to protecting and securing our nation. As the technology used by our adversaries to threaten our people and operations evolves, we are innovating to stay ahead of the challenge.

“This project brings together pioneering UK technology and industry to create a world leading protection system for our Armed Forces.”

The new system will be supported by the Defence Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Architecture, which uses a common set of hardware and software open technology standards, equivalent to desktop computers and cellular phone software, to allow for wider industry participation and support reconfiguration for other military uses. This will allow the Armed Forces to modify the solutions in the future and allow for greater collaboration with allies.

Major General Robin Anderton-Brown, Director Capability Strategic Command, said: “Incorporating cutting-edge technology and adopting an agile acquisition approach, CRENIC will deliver a world-leading capability to protect our forces deployed on global operations.

“Using the Defence CEMA Architecture, Project CRENIC will enable information to be shared across multiple domains, making it the first capability to directly support Multi-Domain Integration. This means information only needs to be collected once and can then be used many times. The project is expected to support electronic warfare in the future, including countering remotely piloted air systems.”

On behalf of Team Protect, Peter Lovell, Global Head of Defence and Security at PA Consulting said: “We are delighted that Team Protect has been selected to be the System Integrator (SI) for this project. The work marks a strong progression of the collaborative approach between industry and the Ministry of Defence to deliver innovative solutions to keep UK forces safe.

“The team has deep and extensive experience across vital capabilities, including complex programme delivery, engineering, agile software development, and digital transformation. We will deliver this project and keep UK forces safer by leveraging our relative strengths – using ingenuity to help deliver a positive human future.”

A cutting-edge integration laboratory facility will also be established to support the development of the system. The laboratory will promote innovation and experimentation as the new capability evolves against emerging threats. First deliveries of the new equipment for vehicle and soldier carried systems for use on operations are due to take place in 2026. Equipment will be incrementally deployed and will evolve to meet the needs of the British Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force land forces long into the future.

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