Above Water Systems Programme

The Above Water Systems Programme is the hub for science and technology (S&T) activities to generate options for an effective above water systems capability.

Having a visible and effective maritime presence is critical to the UK’s defence policy and capability.

The Above Water Systems Programme is the hub for S&T activities to generate options for effective operational, warfighting and underpinning above water systems capability.

Type 23 frigate
Crown copyright

The programme coordinates and delivers S&T in line with defence policy and maritime strategy, working closely with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines to ensure that S&T is exploitable and provides compelling evidence for future ways of working. The programme also works with international partners to share development and improve interoperability of systems.

The programme delivers:

  • reduced risk to ship and crew during surface defence and security operations
  • increased survivability against the future air threat at a more affordable cost
  • options to deliver amphibious forces to the beach faster and more safely
  • demonstration of autonomous systems
  • ships of increased efficiency, effectiveness, affordability and adaptability.

Through its work, the programme will reduce long-term costs of defence capabilities, mitigate defence risks, and secure critical UK S&T capabilities.

Key activities

  • New concepts and S&T solutions for surface warfare and air defence combat systems and on-water manoeuvres
  • Research to assess and advise on the development of ship open-systems architectures
  • Integration of platform protection and integrated survivability and autonomous systems
  • Developing new future concepts for above water capabilities by exploiting emerging technology
  • Providing evidence to support capability planning, capability management and acquisition provided through analysis, research and experimentation

For more information about this programme, please contact us:

Published 1 January 2018