Semi-autonomous Reconnaissance Vehicles for the Army

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £1.8 million to develop ground or air based, unmanned semi-autonomous forward reconnaissance assets controlled from manned mobile assets.

Programme:     DASA

Award:     Share of up to £1.8 million

Opens: 15th May 2019

Closes: 18th Jun 2019

! This scheme is now closed


This competition is seeking innovation in, and development of, existing systems that currently fall between technology readiness levels (TRL) 4-6, such that they can be developed and demonstrated at a MUM-T demonstration at AWE 2019 (ideally at TRL 5/6). Proposals could include further development of an existing operator interface, a semi-autonomous unmanned asset or both.

Systems can be for ground-to-ground, air-to-air and ground-to-air. For ground-based systems it should be assumed that future operational deployment will be from an armoured vehicle such as the Ajax, Warrior or Challenger platforms.

For air-based systems it should be assumed that future operational deployment will be from an air platform such as Wildcat or Apache.

However, bidders must note that the demonstrations at AWE 2019 may not be in one of these specified platforms as it will depend on availability of suitable assets (we currently anticipate Gazelle and Warrior systems will be used).

The unmanned (stand-off) asset should have the potential to be operated up to 8km ahead of the manned platform it is deployed from, though for AWE2019 we will likely operate line-of-sight tests.

The control system for the semi-autonomous unmanned asset must be designed with a single operator in mind who is working in the manned asset; the unmanned asset must be able to be deployed and operated by one of the existing crew (e.g. commander or gunner).

DASA want solutions that will benefit users working in UK Defence. Your proposal should include evidence of:

  • innovation or a creative approach to the specific MUM-T concept
  • a semi-autonomous unmanned system which can be demonstrated in the field by the end of the project (at AWE 2019)
  • a semi-autonomous unmanned system which is of suitable size and weight to be carried and deployed by relevant armoured platforms
  • a control interface for the semi-autonomous system which can be operated by a single user who will not be required to maintain constant operation
  • a control interface suitable for operation within an armoured ground or air platform but that can be removed from that platform and operate with its own power supply
  • a system which seeks to consider and minimise cognitive load on the operator in relation to the manned and unmanned systems whilst not being fully autonomous


This competition has 3 challenges, all of which need to be met for a proposal to be successful.

Challenge 1 – An unmanned system capable of semi-autonomous operation.

Challenge 2 – A system capable of being deployed by a suitable armoured platform.

Challenge 3 – A system with an appropriate operator interface.

For further details on each of these challenges – please click here.

Funding Costs

This is a single phase competition with a total funding of £1.8M available over 8 months, to potentially support 3 to 5 bids.

Each proposal will be capped at £600K. Any proposals received that are for in excess of £600k will be automatically deemed non-compliant.

Your proposal must complete all research and development activities/services and provide all deliverables within the competition timescales (for this competition, the competition timescales are 8 months maximum duration and the contracts must be completed by 31 March 2020). Proposals with any deliverables (including final report) outside the competition timeline will be rejected as non-compliant.


For this competition DASA are not interested in proposals that:

  • constitute consultancy, paper-based studies or literature reviews (we expect a practical demonstration at the end)
  • are identical resubmission of a previous bid to DASA or MOD without modification
  • are demonstrations of off-the-shelf products requiring no development (unless applied in a novel way to the challenge)
  • offer no real long-term prospect of integration into ground or air MUM-T related systems
  • offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions
  • will not be mature enough to demonstrate at AWE 2019
  • have an excessive cognitive load on the operator and/or require constant manned support
  • are fully autonomous or only offer sensor development and other cosmetic (non-essential) enhancements to autonomous systems.