The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has signed a 5 year framework contract which is budgeted to be worth £300m over that period with QinetiQ, and their key partners MBDA and Thales, to lead the Weapons Sector Research Framework (WSRF).
The framework will enable Dstl, and over 70 industry and academic suppliers to develop and exploit technology for the benefit of UK Armed Forces and HM Government. In particular, the WSRF will cover the overall scope of the Future Kinetic Effects and Weapons (FKEW) Programme comprising Complex, Conventional and Novel Weapons technologies. The WSRF replaces the existing Weapons Science and Technology Centre (WSTC) contract and offers a broader scope of research activities including directed energy weapons.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) requires the ability to accelerate development of emerging and disruptive weapons technologies. The purpose of the WSRF is to respond to these challenges at pace through an Enterprise Approach between the UK MOD and Industry encompassing planning, tasking and delivery of Weapons science and technology research. This approach provides access to a wide range of suppliers, which can be continually refreshed, thus improving the UK MOD’s knowledge base and access to innovative, disruptive solutions, state-of-the-art techniques and world leading researchers. Through this, the WSRF will support the UK MOD strategic objectives, with direct exploitation through the UK Complex Weapons Portfolio, MOD’s Novel Weapons Programme and Front Line Commands (FLCs).
Gary Aitkenhead, Chief Executive Dstl said:
“As the science inside UK defence and security Dstl’s research delivers clear military and strategic advantage for our armed forces. We reduce risk to our forces by delivering technology with increased effectiveness and range. We have seen a growing demand from customers for our advice, assurance and research which create new game changing capabilities for defence. We are proud to have delivered affordable and effective solutions to our customers that have saved lives and money, as well as supporting the growth of the UK economy. The WSRF brings together our key partners, SMEs and academia to develop the solutions defence and security need in a fast evolving world.”
Steve Fitz-Gerald, Group Managing Director for Maritime and Land at QinetiQ said:
“We are immensely proud to be supporting Dstl and the wider defence enterprise to deliver a framework that ensures the UK benefits from the best thinking and innovation. The enhanced scope of the WSRF will allow the generation of new capability, getting battle winning equipment and technology into the hands of the warfighter at pace, and enable the UK to counter the evolving threats to our sovereignty and prosperity.”