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Scotland to Play Host to Royal Navy Cyber War Games

Chloe Henderson


The Royal Navy is holding large scale cyber war games in Scotland, as part of a major NATO exercise.

Known as Information Warrior 17, it will take place between 26 March and 6 April in various locations in and around Scotland.

It is intended to drive the development of cutting edge technology in the Navy, including artificial intelligence, to put the UK at the forefront of Information Warfare.

It will also test the defensive capabilities of ships and submarines against cyber attacks, which are as real a threat in the modern age as traditional weapons like rockets, missiles, and torpedoes.

Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord, said: “We are living in a data-driven age in which our adversaries are already exploiting the potential of Information Warfare, and we must respond in kind.”

The Royal Navy has expressed an interest in using AI technology to develop a “Ship’s Mind” at the centre of its warships, enhancing efficiency and allowing for fast and complex decisions to be made automatically.

It will also result in a ship that can operate for longer periods of time at lower running costs, and with less risk to personnel. Ships and submarines will be more efficient and mobile, giving the Navy an “edge” in fast-moving, war-fighting situations.

The Navy is also streamlining and enhancing its computer systems to create an integrated infrastructure capable of meeting a number of global challenges quickly and efficiently.

“The use of this cutting edge computing technology, unmanned aerial systems and new ways of deploying operation capabilities will put the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at the forefront of [Information Warfare],” according to the Royal Navy’s website.

It will also use satellite imagery and Open Source Intelligence to “enrich” the intelligence picture and reduce workloads for analysts.

“Exploitation of information is a significant force multiplier,” said Admiral Ben Key, Fleet Commander. “We must become more agile, developing the ability to make quicker decisions and operate at a faster tempo than our adversaries.”

30 organisations and more than 1000 individuals are taking part in Information Warrior 17, including Regular and Reserve Forces personnel and civilian partners.

It will be the first time that the Royal Navy has used Cyber Operations and AI in an exercise of this scale.

Chloe Henderson

Staff Writer - DIGIT

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