DE&S expertise to revolutionise development of military robotics

The Expeditionary Robotics Centre of Expertise (ERCoE) has been launched by DPRTE 2021 event partner, Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), in collaboration with the British Army.

The ERCoE will bring together robotics and autonomous systems experts from across defence, government, academia and industry and aligns with DE&S’ strategy to deliver the edge through people, technology and innovation.

Adopting a collaborative and agile-by-design approach ERCoE will operate from MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol and from the Army BattleLab in Dorset, an innovative technology project announced in August 2020.

The ERCoE will act as a focal point for current innovative projects, and also assess unexplored, high-risk but rapidly maturing technologies.

Projects to be investigated at the outset include Remote Platoon Vehicles, nano Unmanned Air Systems, autonomous resupply of forward troops and how defence forms Human Machine Teams.

Open access to information and fresh ideas will ensure Defence can exploit the benefits this key disruptive technology could present, whilst also facilitating the rapid growth of expertise in this area.

The centre sits under the Future Capability Group (FCG) at DE&S, the procurement arm of the Ministry of Defence. FCG has a direct line to market, ensuring ideas can be rapidly developed.

FCG Head James Gavin said: “The CoE concept was borne out of the need and opportunity to bring together separate projects and people into single groupings to be more efficient and effective.

“Being more effective means a razor-sharp focus on exploitation and operational Advantage as the goal.

“Co-teaming between the Army and DE&S will put the customer at the heart of what we do, exploring and delivering iteratively under an ‘Agile by Default’ mindset. DE&S personnel will work alongside industry experts at the Army BattleLab within the Defence Innovation Centre, allowing new ideas and concepts to be quickly developed and put into practice.”

The ERCoE has been jointly launched with Future Force Development in Army HQ and is aligned to their Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Strategy. The hub will initially focus on projects for the British Army, but there is optimism that as the group expands and matures, it will become a central hub of advice for expeditionary robotics across Defence.

Lt Col Iain Lamont, SO1 Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the British Army, said: “The Army’s Future Force Development team are delighted to be entering into a fast-paced and exciting new partnership with the ERCoE.

“Driven by the Army’s RAS Strategy, this new agile approach will enable the delivery of several exciting new developments and ensure game-changing technology enters into service as early as possible as we look to accelerate Army transformation.”

The ERCoE launch is a pathfinder within the recently launched DE&S Strategy 2025 and will pave the way for future delivery teams to maximise advantage from this novel capability.

image © Crown Copyright

DE&S is an official DPRTE 2021 event partner

Taking place at Farnborough International on October 5th with elements of the event streamed online, DPRTE 2021 is the UK’s leading defence procurement and supply chain event.

For all involved within buying for or supplying to the defence sector, it’s an unmissable opportunity to hear from and engage with industry leaders, influencers and stakeholders.

To register today as a delegate, follow this link.

To take advantage of exhibitor or sponsor opportunities, please click here.

With DPRTE 2021’s Booking Confidence Guarantee you can now prepare to join the UK’s defence procurement community at DPRTE 2021.

Defence Online is the official media partner for DPRTE 2021


By registering for Supply2Defence you will gain access to free procurement resources that will give you a deeper insight into defence procurement. Getting to know the world of defence procurement is the first step – finding relevant tender opportunities is the hard part. When you register for our Tender Alerts portal you will receive daily tailored defence tender alerts – this means your business will never miss an opportunity that is relevant to your business profile.
Start your search for defence contracts with Supply2Defence.


Qatar World Cup
Jonathan Gilpin

The Need to Knows About World Cup Security in Qatar

With more than 3.5 billion fans worldwide and 250 million players spanning 200 countries, football takes the trophy for the most popular sport in the world. It’s no wonder that the World Cup draws millions of people to whichever country hosts it every four years.

Read More »
Defence building
Jonathan Gilpin

How to Effectively Bid for Government Contracts

Businesses in the UK are able to bid on £284 billion in government contracts. Though there are many opportunities to bid on contracts, it is a highly competitive process. If you want to succeed, you have to understand the process.

Read More »