Next-gen training is key to unlocking the true potential of our armed forces

Raytheon UK CEO Jeff Lewis examines how modernising the UK’s Armed Forces and creating new defence capabilities will play a key role in cementing Britain’s global status.

In the last 12 months, we have all grappled with a generation-defining challenge.

COVID-19 has reminded us that we need an unshakeable resilience in the face of future threats, including those that we might not be able to foresee. This must become a guiding principle for Britain’s businesses and economy as we embark on the road to recovery.

Britain’s defence industry is no exception. The sector continues to face enormous pressure to remain highly agile, while navigating challenging national and international environments. From new forms of artificial intelligence, to cyber disinformation campaigns, the entire defence spectrum has changed. These new and ever-evolving threats are no longer predictable or conventional, working only to intensify current uncertainties.

The UK government rightly recognises how important it is for our armed forces to deploy innovative solutions to these complex problems. That is why, in November last year, the prime minister announced a £16 billion four-year settlement to the Ministry of Defence to support and modernise the UK’s armed forces.

To bring this modernization effort to life, we must ensure that members of the armed forces have the right skills and talent to face evolving threats. Transformative training will be the catalyst for modernisation of the armed forces. By adapting our training processes and utilising the latest technology advancements, we can put people at the forefront of defence transformation.

It is fitting, therefore, that we started the year with the announcement of a contract that supports defence transformation through delivery of a new training system for a modern, global Royal Navy.

Alongside our strategic key partners, Capita, Fujitsu and Elbit Systems, Raytheon UK will deliver the next generation of maritime training, transforming the Royal Navy’s technology, training and learning solutions. The 12-year contract, named Selborne, will modernise the force’s entire training culture and ensure that technological transformation is a core tenet for the UK’s armed forces.

It will be built on a people-first strategy – using trainer and trainee experiences to deliver more personalised, flexible training, better suited for individual circumstances. It will optimise training pipelines to swiftly transition Royal Navy personnel to the fleet. New synthetic training systems will create a safer environment for Royal Navy trainees, and better prepare them for the operational challenges of the future.

The last year has taught us the importance of being adaptable and fleet of foot, and we look forward to working with a supply chain of over 25 businesses in this important part of Royal Navy transformation.

As we navigate the evolving impacts of the pandemic and the UK government looks to rebuild the economy, upskill the population, and develop resilient sovereign capabilities, its commitment to investing in the modernisation of defence capabilities is essential to further cement Britain’s global status.

Through modernising defence training, we can help ensure that our armed forces are equipped to secure our future. Now more than ever before, we stand committed to investing in the UK’s long-term prosperity, helping to keep our country secure and building a Royal Navy that can overcome the challenges of the future.

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