Information Warrior

Information Warrior 17 (IW17) is the latest Royal Navy-led exercise to ensure her fighting capabilities are at their peak. The Armed Forces and the Defence Industry will work closely to produce a comprehensive Information Warfare capability.

The aim of IW17 is to demonstrate the elements of the RN Information Warfare Programme to date, to further establish Information Warfare in the RN psyche, and set the foundations for sustainable and appropriate Information Warfare development.

The Royal Navy will work closely with the British Army, the Royal Air Force and crucially the Defence Industry to get ahead of those that would threaten the United Kingdom.

Colonel Dan Cheesman Royal Marines, the Project Director, said:

"The pace and scale of technological change in the world today is breath-taking. As a result, the Royal Navy, priding itself on its long history of world-leading innovation, is focused on the implications for maritime and littoral warfare in the Information Age."

What we are doing

Setting the foundations for Information Warfare in the future because, as our enemies become more technologically advanced, so must we to combat these threats

Why we are there

Demonstrating and developing Information Warfare technologies to put the UK at the forefront of Information Warfare

We are living in a data-driven age in which our adversaries are already exploiting the potential of Information Warfare, and we must respond in kind

Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord
Information Warrior

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The Royal Navy (RN) wants to use AI technology to develop a Ship’s ‘Mind’ at the centre of its warships. This will enhance efficiency in the Fleet and allow fast, complex decisions to be made automatically which will make warships and submarines safer and more effective in fast-moving, war-fighting situations.

This will result in a ship that can operate for longer periods of time and at less risk to personnel, with less running costs. Our ships and submarines will become even more effective and give the Royal Navy the edge in operations.

Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4)

The Royal Navy is streamlining and enhancing its computer systems to create an integrated infrastructure that is capable of meeting a number of challenges anywhere in the world quickly and efficiently. This comprehensive approach will improve the efficiency of how the Royal Navy goes about its daily business during peacetime and at times of war.

The use of this cutting edge computing technology, unmanned aerial systems and new ways of deploying operational capabilities will put the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at the forefront of IW Warfare.

Intelligence Exploitation (IX)

The aim of the IX theme is to demonstrate that multiple intelligence sources, ranging from Open Source Intelligence and satellite imagery, to agile search applications will enrich the intelligence picture and reduce the workload on the busy analyst.  The improved quality and accuracy of the intelligence assessments will allow Command to make better informed decisions in shorter time periods.

Information Activities and Outreach (IA&O)
IA&O monitors, analyses and releases targeted online messaging in support of maritime and land based operations. This should give Command the opportunity to influence audiences in the operational area and beyond.

Cyber, Electro Magnetic and Space Activity (CEMA)

The risk of cyber attacks against our ships and submarines is as real a threat as traditional weapons such as rockets, missiles and torpedoes. A lot of the combat systems, communications systems, power and propulsion control systems are run by computers, and a successful cyber attack on these would disable a ship rendering it ineffective.

The Armed Forces must have constant and comprehensive cyber protection to ensure ongoing operational capability.

Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)

Building an intelligence picture requires the ability to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance, ideally in as comprehensive and safe a way as possible.

Increasingly the use of unmanned systems allows personnel on the ground to develop this intelligence picture at less risk to themselves and feedback the information not just to a local operations centre but also to an HQ, possibly in another country. The ability to link up intelligence between on land operations, off shore operations and command centres is crucial in helping Commanders make decisions in real time that could affect a number of on-going operations.

Location UK

Related News

Dragons wildcat helicopter with the Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors showing the £9 million drugs haul

HMS Dragon in fifth Middle East drugs haul

AET Harry Sheeran, of 847 NAS

847 NAS joined by Apaches in Norway

See all related news


30 organisations are taking part


More than 1000 people involved including Regular and Reserve Forces personnel, and civilian partners


First time the Royal Navy has used Cyber Operations and AI in an exercise of this scale