Unmanned vehicles and robots are an increasingly core part of military capability and they also offer credible solutions for a range of civil applications. Whether it’s reducing risk, saving money or creating capability advantage, there are clear operational drivers for greater adoption and accelerating the pace of acquisition.

Our Services

Our comprehensive approach draws on our extensive experience operating, evaluating and developing unmanned and autonomous solutions. Our core services include:

  • Concept development and experimentation
  • Systems design and integration
  • Test and evaluation
  • Technology development
  • Platform integration and vehicle performance 
  • Training, safety and certification services
  • Payloads and vehicle support technologies 
Small UAV landing

In the Air

We’re at the forefront of UK Unmanned Air Systems operations and procedural development, and have a reputation for executing services in difficult environments and pushing boundaries, including in operations beyond the line of sight.

Facility: Wales Unmanned Air Systems Environment
Making unmanned aviation work for our customers – safely and cost-effectively.

Our dedicated Wales UAS Environment (WUASE) affords access to both civil and military UAS operations over a variety of geographic features, including overwater, overland, and coastal/littoral terrain. With 8,600km2 of airspace, supported by air traffic services, the WUASE is at the forefront of UK UAS operations and procedural development.

More information on the Wales UAS Environment
Three Bladerunner USVs during Unmanned Warrior

In the Water

As experienced operators in the operation of underwater targets and unmanned vehicles for test and evaluation purposes, we’ve been heavily involved in defining the complex architectures which will allow the safe integration of autonomous systems into, for example, the UK Royal Navy’s portfolio of systems and platforms.

In parallel, we’re supporting the military to understand the operational impact of unmanned vehicles on a number of different programmes through the preparation and presentation of various complex autonomous system live trials and experimentation.

Facility: Maritime Autonomy Centre 
Giving customers the ability to confidently accelerate adoption of Maritime Autonomous Systems capabilities.

Our Maritime Autonomy Centre in Portsmouth comprises extensive contemporary facilities, equipment, and software, including a purpose-built complex system and communication integration facilities capable of live, synthetic and mixed demonstrations and trials.

Facility: British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre
We manage and operate the British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre (BUTEC), based at the Kyle of Lochalsh in Scotland, on behalf of the Royal Navy and the MOD, providing real-time 3D tracking of above-water and sub-surface units, weapons and targets.

Testing vehicles a QinetiQ Hurn site

On Land

Our range of robotic and autonomous systems enables people to stay safe. Some help to protect life and property in emergencies or give a clearer picture in a hostile situation. Others offer early threat warnings by serving as forward eyes, seeing around corners and tight spaces, and some come equipped with mine rollers and command wire rakes.

Facility: Hurn Proving Ground  
Reducing risk to programmes through trials design, conduct, and analysis services.

QinetiQ’s Hurn Proving Ground in Dorset, UK, is the UK’s only purpose-built military test facility, providing a safe area for trials of autonomous vehicles over representative terrains and obstacles that might be encountered in service. Platform performance, including unmanned vehicles and robotics, can be fully demonstrated and limitations explored to inform platform design and development, and enhance operational reliability. 

More info about our Hurn facility here
Titan robot carrying a heavy load

The Future

As innovation integrators, we stay at the forefront of new and better ways of doing things autonomously.

Whether it’s planning major multi-vehicle demonstrations to explore concepts of autonomous behaviour and human-machine interaction, or applying novel approaches to tackle one of the big Artificial Intelligence issues of ‘Certification’, customers can be sure that we’re exploiting the very latest learning, technologies, and approaches to bring them advantage.

Some areas of focus include:

  • Analysing how intelligent systems will change the nature of work
  •  Research at our robotics centre in North America
  • ‘Cloud Robotics’ , where robotic systems share computational resources