Stephen Scott has long been at the forefront of innovation in the European defence industry. After joining MBDA as a graduate in 2004, Stephen held multiple positions across a 16-year period, where he helped to reposition MBDA’s offerings for an evolving threat landscape, helping to protect nations globally.

He brings a wealth of defence sector experience and engineering expertise to MARSS. Here’s a little insight into why he chose us, and his top priorities in his new role.

Why did you join MARSS?

Compared to large incumbents within the defence sector, MARSS is incredibly agile; which is reflected in the company’s short development time scales and exponential growth in the last 12 months. On a personal level, this was an attractive proposition, as agility often goes hand in hand with innovation, and that’s something I’ve always strived towards in my career. Furthermore, since joining the company, the passion and drive across the MARSS team is abundantly clear, and though it’s not a multinational company, it is a multinational team – bringing lots of experiences and knowledge to the table. It’s an exciting time to be joining MARSS, and 2021 will no doubt be another defining period in the company’s growth and product journey. 

From a technical standpoint, what makes MARSS’ CUAS technology so impressive? 

The real significance of this technology comes from NiDAR, the AI-powered ‘brain’ that unifies and intelligently assesses data from a variety of different sensors. Also, it is sensor-agnostic meaning there are no restrictions on the incorporation of the solutions that can bring the greatest benefit to the end-user. Crucially, this means the technology can be integrated with a customer’s existing systems, bolstering the capabilities of what they already have to better classify unknown threats, predict their flight path, and respond with the most effective type of counter-measure. In essence, MARSS has created an incredibly intelligent command and control centre, which can work across a variety of environments and domains. MARSS’ software-driven approach has allowed a first-to-market advantage, making it a really ground-breaking solution.

What are some of your key priorities stepping into this new role?

Put simply, a large part of my role is to continually ensure that our CUAS system works as effectively as possible. In practice, this means constantly reassessing different end effectors, to ensure a high predictability of the system and its capabilities. Particular care is taken to ensure low collateral effectors are selected. It isn’t viable for organisations to have to continually deploy very expensive countermeasures against relatively low-cost hostile drones. So, I’ll be ensuring customers’ have all the tools at their disposal needed to proportionately respond to incoming threats. Ultimately protecting critical infrastructure and saving lives.

I’m also determined to ensure that, as MARSS further matures and becomes more established, we don’t fall into the trap of placing too much emphasis on expanding our portfolio of solutions, rather than optimising existing ones. Therefore, another of my main objectives is to continue working closely with defence primes to help them and us get the most out of their new and existing hardware. For the benefit of all existing users of our NiDAR platform. 

Finally, I intend to continue bolstering the system’s interoperability and its integrations – so more customers can integrate our solution, even if their existing system is outdated and driven by legacy software – which is an issue within the defence sector. 

Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share with existing or potential customers?

As Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ (UAVs) capabilities continually grow, we’re seeing widespread adoption of counter technologies by governments and military organisations around the world. As a result, drones will no doubt become even more central to military operations than ever – and, therefore, the counter-measures must continually evolve to match that threat. This is not a hypothetical scenario or a warning for the future, the threat is already here and organisations need to prepare accordingly – or potentially leave themselves open to attack. The key to this will be leveraging technology which easily integrates into systems, and can become a core operational baseline now, from which other defence systems can be built around, including common standards to work from.