3.11.2023

DEWC, UNSW partner to develop integrated air and missile defence

Sovereign Australian Defence C4ISREW specialist company, DEWC Services, and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra are making headway on a collaborative research project focused on enhancing Australia’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) capability by harnessing digital technologies.

DEWC, which recently partnered with the UNSW to tackle complex defence-related research problems, is working closely with researchers to discover new ways of using digital engineering technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to build a highly capable IAMD for the Australian Defence Force, and support training, operations and management of the logistic supply chain.

DEWC CEO Allan Dundas said the joint research project brings together the complementary strengths of DEWC and UNSW to solve the challenge of improving Australia’s future IAMD capability and better equipping ADF personnel to detect and respond to threats at speed.

“We are delighted to be working on our first collaborative project with the research team at the UNSW Canberra Capability Systems Centre,” Dundas said

“The university’s experience in guided weapons, digital engineering, and modelling and simulation combined with DEWCs’ strong track record of providing Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare (C4ISREW) solutions to Defence will drive innovative solutions to this complex challenge.

“Ensuring Australia has a seamlessly integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) is extremely important to protecting our country from potential threats.

“Not only is it a priority area in Australia’s recent Defence Strategic Review, but the current conflicts in Europe and the Middle East demonstrates just how vital having a highly responsive and time critical IAMD is for keeping Australia safe.”

DEWC Canberra research lead Dr Aaron Matthews said the research will focus on how digital engineering approaches can support the ADF’s decision-making when responding to advanced and capable hostile states.

“The scale and capabilities of new air and missile threats makes the IAMD task extremely challenging. It is no longer possible for humans to be directly involved in every stage of the IAMD mission,” Dr Matthews said.

“There are a range of complex considerations a commander or even the system operator must take into account when responding to a threat and with modern threats being harder to detect and faster than previous generations, the time to make an optimal response is reduced to seconds.    

“This is one area in the IAMD problem set which can be supported with AI, machine learning and digital engineering approaches.”

UNSW Canberra Capability Systems Centre (CSC) Director and Associate Professor Sondoss El Sawah said the UNSW and DEWC are working collaboratively to turn novel ideas into technologies and systems that Defence can innovate, build and deploy efficiently.

“Any integrated air and missile capability has a massive amount of data and we need the ability to understand this data, detect patterns and inform decision-making, which is beyond the cognitive capacity of any person or team.” A/Prof. El Sawah said. [MT1] [MC2] 

“Digital technology has the potential to transform our approach to strengthening this Defence capability and helping Defence operators make the right decisions quickly in a real-time situation.

“UNSW Canberra CSC and DEWC are bringing unique strengths to this research challenge and we are building a collaborative framework which will leverage the strengths of all digital technologies, including AI and machine learning, systems engineering and modelling and simulation.”

The development of capabilities like this will be discussed at the UNSW Canberra 2023 Digital Engineering Summit, where experts from Defence and industry will explore the opportunities that digital engineering can provide to address some of the most vexing problems of today.