Babcock International Group (Babcock) developed a technology with the capability of controlling single or entire fleets of vehicles in a defence environment. Babcock demonstrated its SwarmCore technology, an advanced software system made up of multiple networks, at the UK Ministry of Defence's BattleLab site last week in Dorset. The project was created in collaboration with Arqit, a leader in quantum-safe encryption and supported by the UK's national innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Fundamentally, SwarmCore, which is ready to be tested in the military environment, can be used to control single or entire fleets of vehicles such as drones. It can be operated either fully autonomously or by remote human control at a safe distance from the battlefield. One of the key benefits of SwarmCore and its integration with Arqit's Symmetric Key Agreement Platform is its ability to receive and transmit data in a safe and secure way in a decentralised manner.

In a defence environment, this would mean if a single vehicle as part of a fleet was either hacked or attacked - the rest of the fleet could continue its mission instructions with no single asset ever being a point of failure. With the integration of Arqit's encryption technology, information carried on encrypted keys to and from assets will benefit from robust protection against cyber-attacks. Babcock Chief Engineering and Technology Officer, Brad Yelland, said combining both autonomous systems with advanced software that can deal with potential cyber threats could be a game changer in the modern defence landscape.