The UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Phase 3 of the Take Cover! competition seeks proposals to access recent innovations in materials science and/or design to provide advanced protection solutions for small groups of front-line troops from ballistic and blast threats.
This competition focuses on novel materials, designs and deployment technologies for in-field fortifications that are easily stored, transported and rapidly deployed, using in-service ‘prime movers’, such as logistic vehicles and rotary/fixed-wing aircraft. It should be noted that this competition is not looking for PPE, such as is already provided by body armour, helmets, and ballistic resistant body armour and shields.
Deployed fortifications should be able to protect troops from ballistic threats, blast/fragmentation and ground shock, however additional protection against directed energy threats is also of interest. Directed energy can include hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers (more commonly referred to as rocket propelled grenades or RPGs), high-energy lasers or other novel weapons.
Observability (in multiple environments) across the optical, infra-red (IR), ultra-violet (UV) and radio-frequency (RF) spectra will need to be considered, for this competition. Whilst this is not a call for camouflage technologies, innovative camouflage, concealment and deception (CCD) innovations that could form part of an overall solution are welcomed. The solution may also be utilized for discreet protection of cached equipment in addition to protection of troops.
Chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear (CBRN) threats are not the focus of this competition, but it is worth noting that in an operational situation, the solution may be deployed in a CBRN threat environment.
Up to £480k is available to fund at least two proposals in this phase, which must start at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 (or closely approaching), in order to achieve TRL 6 by the end of Phase 3.
Applications for Phase 3 of this competition close on 11 February 2021.