Published 28 October 2022

UK Armed Forces will receive crucial protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) under a £45 million contract with British industry partners.

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Under Project Crenic, DE&S has agreed a five-year £45 million systems integration contract with Team Protect, a group of UK businesses. Together, Project Crenic will develop new ways to protect soldiers, vehicles and military bases targeted by remote-controlled IEDs.

The project will ensure that the UK keeps pace with fast-evolving road-side bombs by sourcing emerging technology and seeking innovative ideas from outside the traditional Defence industries. The first stage of the project will deliver replacement vehicle and soldier-carried systems to active operations.

According to Major General Robin Anderton-Brown, Director Capability Strategic Command:

“Crenic is a key project led by Strategic Command. 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.”

Project Crenic will share information across traditional military barriers, making it the first such enterprise to directly support multi-domain integration. By collecting information once and giving teams throughout UK Defence the opportunity to use it many times over, it will greatly increase efficiencies. In the future, multi-domain activities will include supporting electronic warfare and providing counter-measures to combat drones.

Crenic will also establish a cutting-edge ‘integration laboratory’ to support the development of the project. The laboratory will provide further solutions, and promote innovation and experimentation as the new capability evolves.

Steve Westwood, DE&S’ Force Protection Electronic Countermeasures team leader, said:

“It’s clearer than ever before that collaboration between the military and industry is key to identifying innovative solutions that can support and protect our UK Armed Forces against ever-evolving threats.”

To allow for wider industry participation, Crenic will follow the Defence Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities Architecture. This means new technology and capabilities are built with open standards that allow Defence to use the solutions in future projects and encourage greater collaboration with the UK’s partners and allies.

Team Protect consists of PA Consulting, Leonardo, Leidos Innovations UK and Marshall Land Systems. The contract with this group will sustained at least 50 jobs around the country. The project aims to create further jobs through contracts with small and medium-sized enterprises.

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 for Crenic. The team has deep and extensive experience across vital capabilities… We will deliver this programme and keep UK forces safer by leveraging our relative strengths, using ingenuity to help deliver a positive human future.”

First deliveries of the new equipment are due to take place in 2026, with a view to incrementally deploying equipment and evolving its protective capability to meet the needs of the Army, Royal Marines and RAF land forces long into the future.

Andy Start, DE&S CEO, said:

“While our armed forces are prepared to face extraordinary risks to keep our nation protected, it is essential we provide them with the best possible tools to carry out their roles as safely and effectively as possible. It’s crucial that we stay one step ahead of the enemy so we can counter any advancements in hostile threats and do all we can to keep our people safe.”