MoD Plans New Secure Communications System With Project MORPHEUS

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Military wants SMBs to contribute to Project MORPHEUS, promising a chance to influence the future of secure radio technology

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is inviting technology firms to contribute to the development of its next generation radio system, claiming Project MORPHEUS (not to be confused with Sony’s VR headset) represents a chance to influence the future of secure communications.

MORPHEUS will replace the current Bowman communications system, which dates back to 1989, and will be used by the British Army, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force (RAF).

The new system will use a number of different current and emerging technologies, so any company with experience in the telecoms, wireless, IT, networking or security sectors is invited contribute, even if they only have a partial idea.

Military communications

afghanistan militaryThe MoD is keen to get SMBs involved and says MORPHEUS represents a significant business opportunity for companies, due to the “trickle down” nature of military technology, and the fact that MORPHEUS will form the basis for the armed forces tactical communications procurement for the next three decades.

The hardware and software proposed by will be judged according to a number of criteria, including security, speed of communication, range, ease of use and cost – both in terms of development and the manpower required to operate the system.

The MoD says any proposed component must be able to adapt to the pace of change required by the armed forces and be able to integrate new technologies as they become available.

“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,” said Rick Mather, project lead for MORPHEUS at QinetiQ, one of the companies that will assess the proposals.

“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”.

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