Atlas-QED consortium awarded MOD contract for a mine counter measures unmanned vehicle

13 Jul 2007

Following an announcement made on 14 May 2009, QinetiQ sold key areas of it business to Atlas Elektronik UK and is therefore no longer part of this Consortium. For more details click here

The Atlas-QED consortium, comprising Atlas Elektronik UK*, QinetiQ and EDO Corporation, has been awarded the MOD research contract to supply a mine counter measures (MCM) flexible agile sweeping technology (FAST) technology readiness demonstrator (TRD) that will ultimately enable MOD to put a combined influence sweep (CIS) replacement into service using FAST Technology.

The FAST TRD is seen as the most cost effective route to achieve transfer of MOD’s FAST Science and Technology research programme from the laboratory to UK industry. The project will deliver a fully functional MCM unmanned surface vessel demonstrator system with quantified and validated performance through an agreed trials and evaluation programme.

“This announcement confirms our rationale for forming an international consortium that is flexible in its approach and delivers complimentary world class capabilities,” stated Bob Waters, Managing Director of Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd. “The team is shaped on the experience and success of related programmes in the UK and the USA. Additionally, the consortium and stakeholders enjoy a good open working relationship.”

“Our knowledge, understanding and successful track record of delivering research programmes from demonstrator to deployment will play a key part in de-risking the key technologies for delivering unmanned surface vessel based mine counter measures,” added Andrew Bailey, MD for QinetiQ’s sea division. “QinetiQ’s extensive UK test facilities will also be used to provide the necessary resources at which to conduct the sea trials in advance of formal demonstrations in early 2009.”

Using its knowledge of the Customer’s operational requirements, the underlying technology and the range of potential solutions available worldwide across a range of Technology Readiness Levels, the Consortium has identified the optimum combination of options in terms of performance, architecture and affordability. At sea demonstrations will be undertaken at QinetiQ’s Bincleaves test facilities.

Key objectives for this programme include de-risking the key technologies for a unmanned surface vessel based MCM influence capability and the development of technology and system integration maturity, using a design and build TRD programme. Quantified mine sweeping performance and effectiveness against mine threats in a realistic scenario will be demonstrated along with deployment, recovery and capture of a FAST unmanned surface vessel from an MCM. The development of an open architecture approach to the FAST components and the transfer of MOD mine sweeping research knowledge to the UK industry supplier base are also important.

The Atlas-QED Consortium captures the majority of the UK’s MCM and USV research and development capability coupled with the leading suppliers of Electro Magnetic sweep systems and unmanned surface vessels within the UK and USA. In addition to domain specialists from within the Consortium, other equipment suppliers, small to medium enterprises and academia will be engaged where this enhances the value of the TRD.

Using its knowledge of the Customer’s operational requirements, the underlying technology and the range of potential solutions available worldwide across a range of Technology Readiness Levels, the Consortium has identified the optimum combination of options in terms of performance, architecture and affordability.

The FAST TRD contract was accepted on May 29, with design completion due in September, and build completing mid 2008 to ensure testing and evaluation is complete by December 2008, ready for formal demonstrations early in 2009.

* Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd, was recently created from a joint venture between Thyssenkrupp & EADS Defence & Security.

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Atlas-QED consortium awarded MOD contract for a mine counter measures unmanned vehicle