QinetiQ, as UK prime contractor for Team ImpaQt, has just secured a £5m contract for a 30 month long Output 6 research programme into 155mm Guided Munition (GM) technology. The programme focuses on reducing overall risk in two key GM technology areas: Guidance navigation and control (GNC) architecture; and composite shell body structural integrity.
Team ImpaQt is comprised of the following European defence research and manufacturing organisations: QinetiQ, NEXTER (until recently known as Giat Industries), BAE Systems Bofors AB and MBDA. Team ImpaQt is currently conducting guided munition and related research programmes for the UK and French Ministries of Defence. By exploiting the synergies between these programmes, Team ImpaQt customers gain maximum advantage without compromising individual governmental aspirations for their particular munitions.
Building on knowledge gained within the team during previous risk reduction activities, the two work packages will commence with a design phase and go through to live firing demonstrations. The GNC architecture developed within the programme will be modelled using a six “Degree of Freedom” model to predict the performance of two munitions, known as ImpaQt Mk1 and Mk2.
ImpaQt Mk1 consists of a metal shell body, containing various payloads, and the airframe is aerodynamically stabilised by a freely spinning tail fin assembly. The ImpaQt Mk1 concept is proposed as the basis for the airframe in the French Munition Portée Precision Accrué (MPPA) demonstrator programme.
The ImpaQt Mk2 concept offers enhanced capability over existing munitions by using lighter, composite materials to reduce the overall mass to achieve greater accuracy, range and payload delivery.
The firing trials will test both the design of the on-board GNC sub-system, and its ability to withstand firing, and the structural integrity of the composite shell-body design.
“In developing this family of advanced gun-launched precision guided munitions we will be extending and providing modern capabilities to an already extensive global arsenal of indirect fire applications,” explained John Anderson, managing director of QinetiQ’s weapons business. “Team ImpaQt provides unparalleled experience and capability in this rapidly evolving area of defence systems and the products it develops are designed to satisfy the most demanding user requirements.”
To date, Team ImpaQt has won a UK IFPA Gun Launch Guided Shell Risk Reduction programme; phase one of the French DG MPPA programme; the UK AOD programme; and most recently this Output 6 GM programme. Team ImpaQt is also currently bidding for phase two of the French DG MPPA programme and is confident that they will be able to maximise customer benefit by leveraging technology development between the various programmes.