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U.K. to Establish Fund to Develop Next Generation Military Equipment

The Wall Street Journal reports that “the U.K. government on Friday said it would set up an £800 million ($1 billion) fund aimed at fostering the swift development of next generation military equipment for its armed forces in a strategy that echoes a similar drive for innovation by the U.S. military.”

“The U.K. Defense Ministry’s plan includes the establishment of a research unit to study technological trends and their possible military applications. The ministry would then invite private sector companies to pitch for investments from the fund of about £800 million over 10 years. The ministry plans to launch the initiative in September.”

“The ministry hopes to develop technologies such as surveillance drones inspired by dragonflies, laser weapons, mobile robots that can investigate incidents involving chemical materials, sensors to survey underground structures in minutes and virtual-reality helmets that can help in training for calling in airstrikes, it said. It added that the aim is to improve the way the government collaborates with industry, academia and its allies.”

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