BRITISH military AI engineering has received a huge boost with new software that is set to revolutionise the Royal Navy's helicopter maintenance.

What was once a time-consuming task has now been simplified thanks to 'Motherlode', an AI software that rapidly processes aircraft maintenance data.

The innovative tool, the result of a collaboration between 1710 Naval Air Squadron, the DE&S Digital AI Team, and Royal Navy Engineers, is being demonstrated at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset.

The AI-enhanced Motherlode software can identify engineering problems at the earliest stage, facilitating preparedness for potential issues and enabling aircraft spares to be ordered in advance.

The Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, had the opportunity to witness the impressive capabilities of the software at RNAS Yeovilton.

The technology will be utilised across a range of platforms, including the Wildcat Maritime Attack helicopters, and reaffirms the government's commitment to leveraging AI ahead of the UK's AI summit at Bletchley Park on November 1 and 2.

Somerset County Gazette: Motherlode is regarded as a huge advancement which is set to revolutionise the Royal Navy's

James Cartlidge, during his visit, said, "Investing in artificial intelligence gives us technologically advanced defensive assets, which operate with precision and efficiency.

"We should be proud to harness the UK’s exceptional AI talent in bolstering our defence capabilities."

The software's AI capabilities include analysing historical data specific to environmental and aircraft conditions, facilitating the prediction of equipment failures more accurately, enabling smarter decision-making from back office to frontline.

"This is just the start of the AI journey for the Fleet Air Arm," said Commander Nicholas Almond, Commanding Officer of 1710 Naval Air Squadron.

He highlighted the numerous potential uses of AI in enhancing data exploitation capabilities to maximise aircraft availability for frontline operations.

Further benefits of Motherlode include aiding smarter logistical and engineering decisions, which optimise key defence equipment while retaining cost-effectiveness.

By the end of 2023, it is expected that the full capability of the software will be rolled out across all Royal Navy helicopters, with possibilities also being explored for other defence equipment, such as land-based vehicles like the Foxhound.

The announcement coincides with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's recent revealing of the new Frontier AI Taskforce, backed by an initial £100 million of funding, which aims to spearhead the UK's progress in the AI field.

The AI industry presently employs over 50,000 people in the UK and contributes a substantial £3.7 billion to the economy.