Photo credit © UDT Conference

Rear Admiral Matthew Parr, Commander Operations Royal Navy, Captain Hugo Ammerlaan, Commanding Officer Submarine Services Netherlands and Jeff Owen, Director – Capability & Future Business – Technology at Babcock International Group, will present a range of important insights to senior stakeholders associated with the underwater community in the plenary session of this year’s Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) Conference.

Following a keynote address by Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Rear Admiral Parr and Captain Ammerlaan will form an expert panel to address national and European naval priorities and comment on the implications of emerging technologies – such as the rise of autonomous systems – on future operations and force structures.  Mr Jeff Owen of Babcock – this year’s Conference Chair – will chair the panel bringing an industry perspective to the discussion with these senior representatives of the underwater user community.

Rear Admiral Matthew Parr has enjoyed a prestigious career since enlisting in the Royal Navy back in 1984. Having served on the submarines HMS Splendid, Conqueror, Resolution, Repulse and Triumph and spent a period of exchange on a French submarine he was given command of the submarine HMS Trafalgar and then the frigate HMS Montrose. He has since acted as the Deputy Flag Officer Sea Training at Plymouth, commanded British Forces in Gibraltar and completed three years as the Director of Operational Capability, conducting studies on behalf of ministers and then as Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Defence Staff.

In his current post he is responsible for the day-to-day operational command and control of the Royal Navy’s deployable assets. This includes the full spectrum co-ordination of immediate operational requirements through to long term forecasting – ensuring Rear Admiral Parr is supremely qualified to provide a unique insight into subsea developments at a tactical and strategic level.



Rear Admiral Matthew Parr, Commander Operations Royal Navy (left) and Captain Hugo Ammerlaan, Commanding Officer Submarine Services Netherlands (right)

Captain Hugo Ammerlaan’s career, which began in 1981, is equally impressive. Operational experience on submarines and surface vessels off the coast of former Yugoslavia along with counter narcotics operations in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean along with deployments to the Arabian Sea and Somali basin have provided him with a comprehensive wealth of practical knowledge.

In his previous role as Deputy Branch Head and Maritime/Air Planner in the Operations Division of the International Military Staff at NATO HQ his field of work covered; NATO’s Maritime Operations Ocean Shield and Active Endeavour, the Standing NATO Maritime Groups, the future maritime role of NATO and international partnerships. He is therefore uniquely positioned to offer valuable insights upon future maritime developments.

“UDT provides a unique opportunity for those associated with the subsea sector to meet their peers, exchange ideas and establish new contacts”, said Conference Chairman Jeff Owen. “As is evident from the calibre of speakers confirmed for the conference’s plenary session, innovative thinkers with extensive operational experience are attracted to UDT. This will ensure that delegates from across the supplier and end user communities are informed about significant developments, emerging threats and future technological opportunities”.

UDT 2014 will take place during the International Festival of Business and will be held at the ACC Liverpool from 10-12 June. This year’s overall conference theme of Autonomy has been specifically chosen to explore the advances in autonomous and semi-autonomous operations of both manned submarines and unmanned platforms.