Israel’s IAI and British firm MCL win UK MoD’s project Thesus contract


United Kingdom’s Project Theseus: British defence company Marlborough Communications Limited (MCL) and its technology partner Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have been awarded a contract to deliver demonstrations of their highly-automated ground and air resupply network, providing innovative capability based on the latest autonomous technology as part of Projec Theseus, IAI said on Monday.

The contract with Future Capabilities Group within the Ministry of Defence is the second contract win for MCL and IAI, and further cements the positive relationship between the two organisations.

Through Project Theseus the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) aims to explore the potential to apply autonomy to the ordering, planning, and delivery of supplies as well as the ability to increase the flow and efficiency of delivery on the battlefield.

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This will see MCL and IAI define and deliver an end-to-end, highly automated ground and air resupply network, which is enabled by a logistics information system and operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in all conditions.

The capability will be facilitated by land and air robotic and autonomous systems (RAS), a mission planner, battlespace management applications and logistics information system to provide tactical last-mile resupply to dismounted forces.

Israel IAI Elta Rex Mark-2 Vehicle.

Rex Mark-2 Vehicle.

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IAI’s REX MK-2 Vehicle

The resupply network will incorporate the REX MK-2 uncrewed ground vehicles to provide robust and reliable means of autonomous delivery, as well as uncrewed aerial vehicles and a mission management command control system with autonomous decision-making capability.

The solution will also be tasked through a human-portable user interface system, enabling operator intervention if required. The two companies will also have to deliver improvements to the system throughout the contract, with the improvements and final demonstration taking place in early 2022.

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Shane Knight, Managing Director of MCL, said the company was proud to be working in partnership with IAI to deliver this innovative capability demonstration to the MoD as part of Project Theseus.

Knight said the combined expertise and knowledge of robotic and autonomous systems of the two companies were crucial to the creation of the ground and air resupply network.

Shane Knight MCL

Shane Knight, MD, MCL.

“This contract is a clear demonstration of the strength of our partnership with IAI, which we are confident will continue to grow and strengthen throughout the delivery of the Theseus project. It also solidifies our position as a major contractor to the UK MoD,” Shane Knight said.

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Boaz Levy, President and CEO of IAI, said the company was looking forward to cooperating with MCL to provide this demonstration to the UK MoD as part of Project Theseus. Together IAI and MCL have a superior combined knowledge of autonomous land robotic systems to support advanced ground and air resupply networks.

Boaz Levy, CEO, IAI.

Boaz Levy, CEO, IAI.

“This cooperation with MCL further demonstrates the strength of IAI and the UK defense industries’ collaborations. IAI is proud to collaborate with our UK partner, to supply advanced combat solutions, and further the company’s presence in the region as part of our overarching strategy,” Levy said in a statement sent to Defence Star.

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