British programme to focus on de-risking key technologies and create a better knowledge base
QinetiQ, as lead contractor for a team of UK-based companies, has secured a 27-month contract worth over £1.5m, to provide customer intelligence to the MOD on Deep Fire Rocket Systems (DFRS) ahead of the anticipated 2025 in service timeframe.
The project focuses on de-risking key technologies that address performance gaps and providing system concepts and performance data in support of the Dstl Future Indirect Fire System (FIFS) studies. Other UK defence research and manufacturing organisations in the QinetiQ led team comprise MBDA, Roxel and Lockheed Martin UK INSYS and the programme builds on knowledge they collectively gained during previous research and development activities within the UK Complex Weapons sector.
The programme will also look to exploit opportunities to lower whole life costs and logistics drag including improved composite solid rocket propellants, composite rocket motor cases, lateral jet thrusters for improved end-game manoeuvrability, revolutionary air vehicle design and a modular Rocket Pod Container (RPC) design. The technologies selected are applicable to two system designs; An ‘evolutionary’ munition employing technologies that provide smaller, but significant improvements at lower risk; And a ‘revolutionary’ munition exploiting technologies with higher risk, but potentially greater pay-off.
“In developing these key technology and system concepts we will lead UK thinking on the future of rocket systems as part of FIFS,” explained John Anderson, MD of QinetiQ’s Weapons Division. “QinetiQ has brought together a team covering the best of the UK’s capability and knowledge base in DFRS technology, integration and manufacture, and our collective activities are closely aligned with requirements detailed in the Defence Industrial Strategy.”