UDT 2018 will explore this and other questions in relation to development in military and civil technology. Are we witnessing a revolutionary change in underwater defence and security? Can advances in new technology force a paradigm shift in naval doctrine, strategies and tactics? Are naval policy holders setting the agenda for revolutionary change? What appetite do naval leaders have to promote and adopt revolutionary technological change? Whatever the answer, UDT 2018 is the forum to publicise the latest developments in underwater technology.
In the early 1990s there was much debate about a “Revolution in Military Affairs”. The RMA was said to be driven by both technological and conceptual development. The RMA spawned amongst others the concept of “Network Enabled Capability” and challenged underwater systems developers with the need to get and stay connected. Today we are all readily familiar with this concept in our everyday lives. The physics of seawater continues to challenge and constrain the rapid advance of this and other new concepts and technologies. The rapid introduction of new technologies in mass consumer markets is challenging not only old technology but old ideas; and there are open questions as to how these technological developments will, and perhaps are impacting on defence and security capabilities. The underwater domain is not exempt from these pressures. The RMA imperative is as alive today as it was then.
The United States, its Allies and partner nations, are all adopting strategies such as the US’s “Third Offset Strategy”. These initiatives are intended to recognise and exploit emerging technologies; and to leverage new technical and conceptual innovations in order enhance or maintain their defence and security advantage. Underwater defence and security is no exception, and in this domain rapid advances in miniaturisation, robotics & artificial intelligence and the exploitation of big data have the potential to generate revolutionary change. As does the exploitation of concepts such as the adoption of modular capability, or the development and deployment of additive manufacturing technologies. There is a growing demand from the user community for practical and pragmatic change, based on rapid development and experimentation.
It is against this background that for this year’s conference UDT 2018 welcomes papers that focus on new concepts, new technologies, and innovation in underwater defence and security.
Alongside the development, adoption, or adaptation, the UDT Technical Planning Committee (TPC) also welcome papers that highlight the advancement or further development of current concepts and technologies. To encourage new entrants special consideration will be given by the committee to papers submitted from authors who are in the early stages of their career in underwater defence and security.