HORIBA MIRA welcomes £6.6bn R&D spending promise

Warwickshire-based vehicle engineering consultancy HORIBA MIRA has welcomed the £6.6bn research and development pledge from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a major boost for UK innovators.

The vehicle engineering consultancy last year secured a major contract to supply VIKING – the first autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicle of its kind – to Dstl. 

HORIBA MIRA now hopes further ‘buy and try at scale’ projects will be offered for extensive trialling and experimentation enabling the acceleration and adoption of rapidly evolving defence technologies such as AI, autonomy and electrification.

Calling for greater experimentation in defence artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy, HORIBA MIRA, which recently developed VIKING (pictured) and MERLIN, both autonomous ground vehicles, says this will be critical to maintaining the UK’s military advantage in the coming years.

Robert Mohacsi, Senior Commercial Manager for Defence Systems at HORIBA MIRA comments: “There is going to be a significant shake up in defence spending and procurement, and we particularly welcome the MoD’s commitment to developing home-grown defence technology, skills and expertise.

“The spending pledged by MoD is a real shot in the arm for UK innovators because it should give the funding needed not just to develop the technology but critically pull it through in to service.

“At HORIBA MIRA, we’ve been pushing the boundaries of high-technology research in areas including AI for recognition and navigation in the absence of GPS, and autonomy – our platform VIKING is a great example of this; a fully British designed and developed solution to help the defence sector meet complex and demanding challenges.”

The comments come amid an overhaul of the UK’s security and defence policies, initially set out in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy earlier this month, which unveiled the government’s proposals to prioritise technological innovation vital to national security.

Meanwhile, the Defence Command Papers, released on 22 March, provide greater detail on what this means for the different defence services. In addition, a separate defence AI strategy and a Defence Centre for Artificial intelligence is set to be unveiled in the coming months.

At the forefront of defence vehicle and unmanned vehicle systems design and development, HORIBA MIRA has a long history of delivering advanced technologies to both the civil and defence automotive markets and works with all of the major defence prime contractors solving technical automotive engineering challenges.


HORIBA MIRA is a global provider of automotive engineering, research and test services, with 75 years of experience in developing some of the world’s most iconic vehicles. Working in collaboration with vehicle manufacturers and suppliers around the world, they provide comprehensive support ranging from technology development and individual product tests through to full-vehicle design, development and build programmes. 

Whilst traditionally known for its vehicle test services – including over 40 major facilities and 100km of Proving Ground – HORIBA MIRA is so much more than this. Over the last ten years it has invested heavily in the evolution of its engineering capability and in the development of MIRA Technology Park, Europe’s leading mobility R&D location for developing the latest automotive technology.

The unique combination of engineering expertise, advanced testing facilities and prime location of MIRA Technology Park in the heart of the UK automotive industry, enables customers to develop and validate their technology, or vehicle, in one place.

HORIBA MIRA’s purpose is to improve lives by making journeys safer, cleaner and smarter. www.horiba-mira.com


Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, the HORIBA Group is a global leading supplier of measurement technology and systems for various fields from automotive testing, process and environmental monitoring, in-vitro medical diagnostics, semiconductor manufacturing and metrology to scientific R&D and QC measurements. www.horiba.com

About HORIBA Automotive

HORIBA Automotive, a business segment within the HORIBA Group, has developed global leadership in the fields of battery and fuel cell test stands, data management solutions, driveline test systems, engine test systems, brake test systems, wind tunnel balances, emissions test systems and test facility automation.

In addition to its product-based applications, it offers a comprehensive suite of vehicle engineering, validation and certification services. HORIBA Automotive is able to offer its customers complete solutions, with full turnkey capability, for all industries using electric motors, internal combustion engines and turbines.

These include the automotive, heavy-duty, off-road, consumer goods, marine, defense, aerospace and rail sectors. www.horiba.com/en_en/automotive/ 

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