Helping MOD chart the course towards Joint Force 2025

24 May 2017

Delivery Director Rick Bounsall gives his overview of recent Niteworks activity.

During these last twelve months of considerable change in the UK, Niteworks has continued to work with all of the Commands helping to: shape emerging requirements; develop and prove novel concepts; accelerate acquisition activities and test new hypotheses.  

The Royal Navy has benefitted from support to the complex issues of managing Combat Systems in submarines in order to take advantage of fast spin software development while protecting the integrity of the operational design. This has been exciting work, bringing together experts from across industry and the MOD in creating an operating model that puts the Navy at the heart of the decision making cycle.  Built on the evidenced ideas contained in the Niteworks Continuous Capability Evolution White Paper this work has been acclaimed by the DE&S Delivery Team, Combined Design Authority Team and, crucially, those within the Maritime domain charged with maintaining the submarine fleet’s fighting edge.  Niteworks also supported last year’s Unmanned Warrior demonstration and was a key contributor to this year’s Information Warrior exercise.
The Army has been continuing with the Head of Capability Combat Experimentation programme which is now into Year 4/5. This complex programme brings together strands from Dstl and industry alongside emerging concepts that will underpin the Army’s way of operation in the 2020s.  We have been working alongside MOD colleagues to provide the exploitation routes across all Lines of Development of this ambitious programme as the Strike concept crystallises. Alongside this, an opportunity to radically change the way the Army carries out its collective training has been identified as one of the strands of the Army Continuous Change programme. Niteworks contributed alongside the Army’s Strategic Partner (McKinsey) and staff drawn across the Army to the “storming and forming” phase of an ambitious and pacey start-up of the Collective Training Review. This included a base-lining exercise; support to requirement setting; refinement of technical opportunities; ideas on an enterprise architectural approach and potential commercial models.
Air Command has been a particularly enthusiastic customer for Niteworks and we have found ourselves in the enviable position of being one of Air Cap’s key routes to industry perspectives on a range of exciting projects. Defence Operational Training Capability (Air) (DOTC(A)) is now being taken forward at pace by the MOD (customer and DE&S) and thus Niteworks involvement is reaching its conclusion, and we have picked up new tasks in support of the Future Integrated Battlespace, 5th Generation Air Force Command and Control, industry support to the Air C2/ISTAR study and Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Stage 3.  All in all, this has the feel of a very practical approach to delivering a whole force Air capability now and into the next decade.

Joint Forces Command (JFC) has been drawing heavily on Niteworks expertise to assist it in its coordinative role across the Commands. As Information Systems and Services (ISS) transformation shows no sign of slowing despite the departure of Mike Stone (MOD’s first 3* Chief Digital & Information Officer (CDIO), the Brockworks family of innovation projects has continued.  We have been examining multi-tier multi-tenancy approaches to address security considerations; Defence as a Platform (DaaP) approaches; New Style of IT (Deployed) (NSOIT (D)) core services; and have recently been commencing a range of tasks in support of interoperability and future beyond line of sight satellite provision.  For Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) we have been assisting in the development of understanding in information activities and outreach, for Cyber Protection Teams a candidate Concept of Employment (CONEMP) as well as understanding the Cyber risks in an extensive and evolving supply chain.
With so much happening in the world around us virtually every day, it is clear that the demand for Niteworks assistance in bringing industry’s perspectives to bear in a safe environment, early on in projects’ lifecycles remains - in the minds of our many customers - a key component to developing and delivering new capability and offering the opportunity of optimising existing military power.