Technology

Could This New Helmet Camera Change The Way Royal Marines Operate?

Personnel from 40 Commando will test the cutting-edge technology which could revolutionise how information is sent from the frontline.

A new helmet-mounted camera system, capable of sending live footage from the frontline, is being created for the Royal Marines.

The system will allow vital information to be passed on to commanders, allowing rapid tactical responses.

It is being developed by the Royal Navy's innovation team, MarWorks, which is based in Plymouth.

If successful, the technology could form part of the 'Future Commando Force' programme, which is designed to overhaul the way Commandos operate, and also includes a brand new Royal Marines uniform.

The team is also working on special frontline projects including 3D mapping and virtual reality.

Paul Anderson, technical support on the project, told Forces News: "The clever bit is not so much the camera on the helmet - it’s how you move that data around the network so people can see it at different levels. 

"Effectively, you could have a guy kicking down a door and then someone in the UK watching them kicking down the door.

"So some video footage is relevant in the immediate space, some of it is relevant back in the UK on a strategic level."

The new camera system will provide commanders insight into frontline situations.

The camera prototypes will be tested by 40 Commando Royal Marines at Norton Manor Camp in Taunton.

The Royal Navy said similar body-worn devices currently rely on Bluetooth, WiFi or uploads to a cloud-base system.

However, the new helmet will work hand-in-hand with the recently procured mobile network radios.

"We needed to provide situational awarenesses and a video capability to allow commanders to see images from the frontline to aid decision support and tactical decision making," said Dave McInerney, MarWorks Programme Manager.

"Historically, we’ve really been late adopters of technology.

"Our process for procurement and development of products really works very well for a tank, or a ship, or an aircraft, but for rapidly moving technology such as capabilities like this, such as the development of mobile infrastructure and tactical radios, we really need to be quicker and better at adopting these new technologies."

The Royal Navy Innovation Team aims to keep Royal Marines and Royal Navy personnel kitted out with the latest in warfare technology.

It does this with the help of former and serving military personnel.

Sergeant Mike Bushe of the Royal Navy Innovation Team said his experience had helped in the development of the headcam.

"I’ve used a lot of the equipment, I know what is good and what is bad," he said.

"You've got that experience, you can then apply that to a new project."