Backgrounder: Contested Urban Environment Experiment 2018 (CUE 18)

The Contested Urban Environment Experiment 2018 (CUE 18) is a five-nation cooperative defence science and technology experiment taking place from September 10-21, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec. It aims to investigate new and emerging technologies that could improve the effectiveness of military personnel operating in complex urban environments while reducing risk to both military forces and civilians.

This experiment is led by the Department of National Defence’s science and technology organization, Defence and Research Development Canada (DRDC) and will involve defence researchers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States as well as military personnel from the 2nd Canadian Division.

Key facts:

  • CUE is a multi-year series of experiments actively investigating technologies that offer the potential of increasing mission success while reducing risk to both military forces and civilians through enhanced tactical situational awareness and responsiveness.
  • CUE 18 is a cooperation program that operates under the auspices of The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) which brings together the defence science communities of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The first experiment took place in November 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. Two additional experiments are being planned for 2019 (US) and 2020 (UK).
  • CUE 18 involves over 150 researchers from participating nations and over 80 members of the Canadian military.
  • CUE 18 is designed to address the question of “What do we need to know about a city in order to operate effectively?”
  • CUE 18 brings a combination of field and simulation-based activities focussing on three military vignettes:
    • Pre-entry sensing and understanding (what we need to know about the city)
    • Assured mobility (what is required in order to be able to move about freely in the city)
    • Area denial (what is required in order to ensure perimeter security)
  • The CUE series of experiments supports Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, towards achieving excellence across the full spectrum of military operations, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, to peacekeeping and to combat. For example, CUE supports SSE by:
    • Enhancing command support system intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and advancing remotely piloted systems;
    • Enhancing light forces supporting capabilities which will allow it to be more agile and effective in complex operational theatres;
    • Modernizing weapons effects simulation to better prepare soldiers for training and operations; and
    • Improving chemical and biological detection and response capabilities.
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