Haslar visit strengthens collaborative US and UK research partnership
The QinetiQ team at Haslar hosted visitors from the UK MoD and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Carderock; building on years of cooperation between the Royal Navy and the US Navy, QinetiQ, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the MoD’s Submarine Delivery Agency met with NSWC at Haslar to update each other on the latest hydrodynamic developments and testing to explore opportunities of mutual benefit.
The visit, arranged by DSTL, involved hosting Carderock’s senior management team at the historic Haslar Marine Technology Park in Gosport, Hampshire, on behalf of UK MoD. This important visit enabled us to showcase our world-class maritime Test and Evaluation (T&E) facilities to our US counterparts, and also to discuss our capabilities. UK MoD and DSTL are hoping that this interaction will lead to future opportunities for increased collaboration.
The NSWC Carderock Division, based in Maryland, USA, operates similar facilities to those that QinetiQ owns and operates at the Haslar site. The ‘strategically recognised’ facilities at Haslar are dedicated to improving the design and performance of ships and submarines, and their associated systems and equipment.
The Haslar facilities are managed through long term partnership with UK MoD – as part of the Maritime Strategic Capabilities Agreement (MSCA) contract. In addition to delivering for UK MoD, MSCA activity contributes to the knowledge and success of UK businesses and has directly supported the UK government export prosperity agenda – through attracting overseas customers to using the unique facilities and Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP) at Haslar.
Senior guests from Carderock included Lawrence Tarasek (NSWC Carderock Division Technical Director), Michael Brown (Head of Naval Architecture and Hydrodynamics Division) and Michael Bosworth (Director of the Center for Innovation in Ship Design). The US visitors were joined by key personnel from DSTL as well as representatives from the UK MoD’s Naval Authority Group (NAG), our MSCA customer.
The day included an introduction to QinetiQ’s activities, and an overview of the history and development of Haslar – starting from Robert Edmund Froude first creating the Admiralty Experiment Works (AEW) on the site in the late 1800s (marking the very early days of ‘modern day QinetiQ’).
The visitors enjoyed a ‘site tour’ of the Haslar facilities, including the Diving & Hyperbaric Test Centre (DHTC), Quiet Water Tunnel, Ship Tank and Ocean Basin – one of the largest tanks of its kind, used to test scale models of submarines, warships, commercial ships and yachts. The founder of hydrodynamic facilities in the US, Rear Admiral David Taylor USN, visited Haslar in October 1906 and signed the visitors’ book. The guests were delighted to be shown the pages of the Haslar Visitors’ Book to see David Taylor’s famous signature.
Mr Tarasek commented that “It was good to visit QinetiQ and their MoD partners who do similar work (ship design, hydrodynamics testing and so much more) for the Royal Navy as we of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, do for the United States Navy.”
Dr Kieran Rutherford (DSTL visit lead) added “There was a lot of good discussion about hydrodynamic testing, the running of the business and longer term strategy, along with recruitment and skillsets. The visitors commented about ‘how much capability was at QinetiQ, the excellent presentations and the signing of the visitor book’. The visit fulfilled their primary purpose of being in the UK; relearn and reconnect with the specialists in the UK. I would also like to extend my thanks to QinetiQ for also hosting DSTL and MoD visitors”.
“The visitors were clearly impressed by the facilities managed at the Haslar site under the MSCA contract, and took the opportunity to find out more about the work delivered by the QinetiQ team – with a view to potential further international collaboration,” said Dr Jon Bayliss (Delivery Team Leader for QinetiQ’s Haslar business). “By hosting the visit we’ve helped MoD to continue improving the relationship that already exists with NSWC Carderock and have re-energised links with the Haslar site, which should bring long term benefits for all involved”.