With L-3 Communications’ Integrated Systems (IS) subsidiary being named preferred contractor to carry out risk reduction studies in the final part of the UK MOD HELIX Assessment Phase contract worth in excess of £11.5M, QinetiQ, as a tier-1 partner, will receive a significant workshare. HELIX is a major mission system upgrade to the capabilities of the Royal Air Force Nimrod R1 electronic reconnaissance aircraft fleet.
QinetiQ will be providing advanced electronic reconnaissance technologies from its technology development centre at Malvern in Worcestershire along with expert design advice in the areas of human factors and operator training.
Other partners working with L-3 IS as the lead systems integrator and prime contractor are LogicaCMG that will contribute ground systems, information management and security services and technologies and BAE Systems that is providing aircraft modification, aircraft certification, long-term support and logistics services, and some sensor technologies.
Upon main gate approval, expected in June 2009, L-3 IS is expected to be the preferred contractor to execute the project HELIX development and manufacture contract, which has a projected value of up to £400M over a seven-year period, with first aircraft delivery scheduled in early 2013. QinetiQ has a guaranteed workshare for the demonstration and manufacture phases for project HELIX, should L-3 be offered the D&M Contract.
“QinetiQ has a long heritage in providing advanced electronic reconnaissance technologies and this win reflects the ability of the Helix team to continue to deliver these vital and often conflict winning technologies to the British military,” said Steve Britten, MD of QinetiQ’s Spectrum Solutions Division.
The modification work on the aircraft will be performed at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, with final integration and flight testing conducted in Greenville, Texas.
The Nimrod R1 provides electronic reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering support to military commanders and is viewed as a critical component of the UK’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capability.