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UK Defense Ministry Includes AI, Hypersonics in Science & Tech Portfolio

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The U.K. defense ministry introduced its science and technology portfolio and announced that it will invest approximately $8.3 billion in research and development over the next four years.

The S&T portfolio consists of programs and projects designed to meet the ministry’s capability requirements and ensure that the country’s defense maintain operational advantage, the U.K. government said Monday.

The U.K.’s defense science and technology laboratory, also known as Dstl, will work with academia and industry to deliver the projects and programs under the portfolio.

The document listed the U.K. defense’s S&T challenges, including multidomain command and control, communications and computers; asymmetric hard power; and pervasive, full-spectrum, multidomain intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The British defense ministry outlined the 25 programs in the portfolio as well as technical challenges, associated capabilities and benefits of each program to the country’s defense and security.

Some of these programs are artificial intelligence, autonomy, communications and networks, cybersecurity, deterrent and submarine systems, hypersonics, missile defense and space systems.

The document also covered four standalone projects under the defense S&T portfolio that offer collaborative opportunities for academia and industry: engineering biology; human augmentation; PULSAR; and support to operations and crises.

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