Battle in beta mode: the age of Prototype Warfare


Prototype Warfare is a concept that has been discussed by military strategists and commentators for nearly 20 years. Now we need to make it reality.

Battle in Beta Mode

The conversation around using prototypes in modern warfare scenarios has traditionally been focused on potential benefits and challenges. The time has come to move beyond the question of why we need to consider the concept and start exploring how we make Prototype Warfare a practical reality for UK defence.

This report is based on perspectives from both within and outside QinetiQ and progresses the existing conversation in three ways:

  1. It sets out the core principles for changing perceptions of Prototype Warfare within the defence community.
  2. It defines the practical barriers to achieving the implementation of Prototype Warfare in UK defence and how to overcome each one.
  3. It makes clear recommendations for how UK defence can embrace Prototype Warfare without disrupting current acquisition processes that are in place to ensure security, reliability, and compliance.

‘Deploying Prototype Warfare’ is therefore designed to do more than stimulate meaningful conversations and adjust perceptions. It is designed to instigate behavioural change across UK defence that allows us to move beyond a discussion about the potential of Prototype Warfare and benefit from the reality of its adoption.