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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/competitiontake-coverlightweight-rapidly-deployable-protection-on-the-front-line-through-field-fortifications/competition-summary-take-cover-lightweight-rapidly-deployable-protection-on-the-front-line-through-field-fortifications
The current technologies for in-field temporary fortifications for small groups of dismounted (on-foot) soldiers are reaching the end of their natural life. There is an opportunity to apply novel materials and / or novel structural designs to achieve improved performance by developing lightweight, rapidly deployable protection for front-line troops and their equipment.
The competition will focus on protection from ballistic threats and fragmentation (further details will be provided in the full competition document), however, protection against blast and directed energy (such as Rocket Propelled Grenades) threats would also be of interest. Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats are outside the scope of this competition.
Applications should focus on one or more of the following:
Novel materials (or combinations of materials) that protect against impact from the threats described above, size and weight of these novel materials are also key considerations.
Innovative structures (e.g. self-erecting, inflatable or folding structures) that can be easily stored, transported and rapidly deployed by troops in front line positions with minimal burden, including tools required for construction.
Novel ways to strengthen and support structures once deployed (e.g. bracing technologies, chemical curing, etc.)
Phase 1 of this competition is intended to fund novel approaches, in order to demonstrate proof of concept, that can be further developed and integrated into a deployable solution in future phases. Successful projects in this phase may be encouraged to work with other suppliers in future phases in order to integrate promising solutions into a system.
Whilst Phase 1 is intended to fund proof of concept in the long-term, it is intended that the final solution will protect multiple (up to ten) soldiers rather than be used for individual soldier personal protection (such as body armour etc.). Potential for future modularity, flexibility and scalability may also be explored. The final solution will need to remain operational for a number of days in different operating environments and climates. The solution can be single use.
Observability (in multiple environments) across the optical, Infra-Red, Ultra-Violet and Radio-Frequency spectra will need to be considered for the final solution. While this is not a call for camouflage technologies, innovative Camouflage, Concealment and Deception proposals which could form part of an overall integrated solution are welcome. The solution may also be utilised for discreet protection of equipment.
The programme is expected to have a duration of three years with multiple phases. Up to £600k is available for Phase 1 for six month duration projects. Over £1m of additional funding may be available for future phases.
3. Competition close
The competition closes at midday 24 October 2018.