The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a new project in a bid to find a secure next-generation communications system for the British Army, Royal Marines and RAF Regiment.
The Morpheus project will be led by experts from PA Consulting, QinetiQ, Roke Manor Research and CGI, and will collect and assess different "ideas and potential options" to replace the services' existing Bowman communications technology.
Bowman was introduced in 1989 as a replacement to the archaic Clansman system. It uses HF, VHF and UHF radio to provide secure voice communication and data services to services personnel and vehicles.
The replacement options will be judged on a number of factors, including security, long-term business viability, speed, range, ease of use and cost.
The system will also be expected to be upgradable and able securely to integrate future technologies for at least the next 30 years.
Companies involved in the development process will get the chance to work with armed service and government staff and be exposed to "new ideas, concepts, people and information from a variety of different sectors through workshops, events and online collaboration".
Rick Mather, project lead for Morpheus at QinetiQ, explained that the experts will accept pitches from any company, including small to medium sized businesses.
"The key here is to examine all the potential options out there to identify the most operationally effective and cost-effective solutions," he said.
"We know there are lots of really exciting technology and security SMEs, as well as academics, doing exactly the kind of research and innovation this project needs.
"We also know a lot of them think that these kinds of contracts always go to the same old defence companies. That's not the case here.
"We're really open to innovative, and even unusual, solutions to ensure that the final options are the best possible."
The MoD is one of many military institutions developing secure next-generation communications technologies.
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