The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking new technology to mitigate the impact of offshore wind farms on the UK’s air defence radar system.

The MoD’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) innovation hub has launched a £2m (€2.3m) ‘Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence’ competition to find suitable technologies, which, once deployed, could pave the way for a “significant boost” to the UK’s renewable energy growth.

DASA is leading the work on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Royal Air Force, and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Defence minister Jeremy Quin said: “Defence technologies have a huge amount to offer the demands of the twenty-first century UK, including addressing the challenge of climate change.

“We have an incredible skills base in the UK and this initiative will harness the power of wind turbines whilst ensuring our air defence standards.”

Wing commander Helena Ramsden, air capability development, at RAF Air Command, added: “We are investing in cutting-edge innovation and harnessing the best technology from the brightest minds in the country.

“This competition demonstrates our commitment to keeping the skies above the UK safe from aerial threats whilst accelerating crucial work to allow the nation to do more to combat climate change.”

The DASA competition builds on the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, published by the Government in March 2019.

Multiple proposals are expected to be funded with the £2m with individual contracts capped at £500,000.

The competition will close at midday 17 April 2020.

DASA will be holding a dial-in briefing session on 26 March and one-to-one teleconference sessions on the same day.

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