ZODIAC: A central nervous system for the battlefield

The UK MoD and Roke embrace far-reaching benefits of digitisation for Army's Land ISTAR programme.

28 September 2021
Paul MacGregor, Roke Managing Director (L) and Brigadier John Collyer (Photo courtesy of Roke)


A £6.7 million contract has been awarded to Roke by the UK MoD, to develop a central nervous system for the battlefield that ingests data from multiple battlefield sensors.

Roke is the delivery partner for ZODIAC, which will provide the systems required to ingest data from all battlefield sensors and Combined, Joint, Inter-Agency, Intra-Governmental and Multinational intelligence feeds, as part of the British Army's Land ISTAR programme.

The contract marks the start of an “Alpha development phase” to de-risk the delivery of the Land ISTAR programme. Land ISTAR will deliver an integrated and distributed system of sensors, applications and underlying system architecture that will enable the Army to act with greater precision and speed.

As the core project for the Land ISTAR programme, ZODIAC will need to fuse, analyse and distribute the resulting intelligence to battlefield users, integrating across Land, Sea, Air, Space and Cyber, and with Allies.

During the Alpha phase of ZODIAC, Roke will be responsible for capturing requirements, initial design, solution architecture, risk reduction, and market assessment for further development.

Paul MacGregor, Managing Director at Roke said ZODIAC will pioneer the use of next=generation technologies, empowering and better protecting the British Army to think and act faster than our adversaries. “Innovation will be the catalyst for everything we do. From harnessing our significant knowledge in physical sensors and communication systems to embedding new architectures and processing at the edge, drawing on the expertise of our Cubica colleagues who specialise in data fusion, machine learning and autonomy.“

Roke will also work closely with a trusted consortia of industry partners to refine the model of ZODIAC development further, ensuring the customer takes advantage of world-beating technical capabilities on a continuous and enduring basis.