The underwater defence technology sector is undergoing a period of great change. Within the context of a rapidly evolving defence environment where peer and near-peer adversaries present a growing threat that Sweden – with its key geographic location the Baltic coast – understands all too well, the military underwater domain is being relentlessly challenged to provide solutions to tomorrow’s problems.
As a result, underwater technology development is being driven at a speed and in directions that we have seldom seen before. The requirements list is long: autonomy, endurance, reliability, reduced training, open-source software and standardisation – as military forces worldwide invest heavily in their underwater defence capabilities from anti-submarine warfare to mine and mine-countermeasures and combat diving.
At the same time, a number of scientific, defence, industry and bi/multi-lateral government initiatives have started or are about to start in the underwater domain. Several of these initiatives show collaborative efforts between scientific and industry organisations backed with governmental or shared funding.
Against this backdrop, it is timely that the underwater defence technology community should come together once again in Stockholm in May to assess the state of the industry with fresh eyes. UDT 2019 offers an ideal opportunity for scientific and industry organisations as well as for defence to collaborate and connect, present new ideas, share experiences and conclusions, as well as gathering comments and feedback from peers.
I am excited to see what the brightest minds in our industry are working on to tackle the underwater defence challenge head on. I look forward to welcoming you all to Stockholm in May and anticipate great things from our time there.
- Bert Johansson, UDT 2019 Committee Chair