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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

6th Meeting of the 189th Session (2009-2010)

The Impact of Emerging Technologies on Naval Operations

Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster
Royal Navy

In the Augustine United Church
41 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh, EH1 1EL
On Monday 22nd March 2010, at 7pm

Emerging technologies are commonly defined as disruptive when they improve a product or service in ways that society does not expect; the effect they can have on the Armed Forces and military capability can be no less significant. Examples include steam propulsion which, when combined with gun rifling led to the building of Pocket Battleships, and missile systems, which have superseded artillery as the weapon of choice at sea. As outlined in the recent Defence Green Paper, emerging technologies will continue to play a key role in the future Royal Navy and its drive towards greater adaptability in the face of ever more complex adversaries. In this talk Admiral Alabaster will illustrate the effect on this approach of potential disruptive technologies such as autonomous vehicles, cyber-warfare, advanced communications and network technology.

Rear Admiral Alabaster was brought up in South London and joined the Royal Navy as a weapon engineering officer in 1977. He has served in a variety of appointments where technology has been central, ranging from project management of the Seawolf missile system, two tours on operational warships and involvement with the tri-national Horizon frigate project. Later staff jobs have included being the first Director of Equipment Capability (Deploy, Sustain and Recover), the MoD's Head of Project Management and as Assistant Chief of Staff (Engineering) in the Fleet Headquarters where he was responsible for all aspects of engineering and safety in ships, submarines, aircraft and establishments of the Fleet Command. In his current role he is the Royal Navy's senior officer in Scotland and has representational duties everywhere north of the M4. Married with two children, his family base is in Wiltshire but they all enjoy visiting their second home in Helensburgh as frequently as possible.

Location of meeting

Society Business

The President, Robin Harper MSP, will be in the Chair

Members of the Public are welcome to attend

Jane Ridder-Patrick, Secretary
Telephone: 0131 556 2161

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