LONDON — The U.K. Defence Ministry is partnering with the British motor-racing Formula 1 team McLaren to upgrade several defense projects, the ministry announced Saturday.

“This exciting partnership will see McLaren Racing bring their world-class expertise from the racetrack into a number of defence projects,” Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said in a news release. “By collaborating with industry we will continue to drive innovation through knowledge sharing, which will benefit Defence’s engineering and operations across the course of the partnership and beyond.”

The McLaren Racing team was established in 1963 and has won 20 Formula 1 world championships and 183 Formula 1 grands prix.

Under the arrangement, the motor-racing team will provide expertise gained from decades in elite-level motorsport and help the ministry on innovative defense projects, including electrifying armored vehicles through Project Lurcher.

To kick off the collaboration, McLaren Racing and the ministry showcased their respective vehicles — the all-electric off-road sports car NEOM McLaren Extreme E and the Project Lurcher armored vehicle — at BattleLab, a defense innovation hub in Dorset, England.

“This new partnership with the Ministry of Defence provides a great opportunity to stretch and apply our innovation and technological know-how and a high-performance culture with a view to improving operational efficiencies across a wide range of exciting projects,” Matt Dennington, the co-chief commercial officer for McLaren Racing, said in the release.

McLaren has a track record of developing scalable electric products, such as the 5G edge computing antenna for rail and integrated inverters. It has also launched vehicle models like the hybrid electric sports car McLaren Artura.

On the battlefield, electric vehicles provide more efficient fleets and reduce the need to resupply them with fuel, lessening the chance of putting humans in harm’s way.

The new multiyear partnership comes a year after the ministry awarded a one-year contract to the defense firm Babcock International to modify four in-service British Army Land Rovers from diesel to electric propulsion under Project Lurcher.

According to a 2022 Army report, the U.K. has a 15-year plan to make the majority of its land capabilities hybrid or fully electric by 2035. However, it’s unclear whether the service can go fully electric by its deadline, former chief of the General Staff for the British Army, Gen. Mark Carleton-Smith, told Defense News in 2021.

“We’re, industrially, still some way away from completely living without carbon engines in our principal war-fighting equipment,” Carleton-Smith said while still in his role.

The partnership also seeks to advance high-tech engineering know-how, potentially drawing in a larger pool of candidates for military jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Thibault Spirlet was the United Kingdom correspondent for Defense News. Thibault previously covered the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars at Business Insider. He also has experience reporting on the European Union and U.K. politics.

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