QinetiQ has confirmed it has secured a new contract to provide the Royal Navy with advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training services using the latest target simulation technology from Saab. The new contract will extend QinetiQ’s long-term partnership role at the MOD’s British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre (BUTEC) at the Kyle of Lochalsh into the training environment.
Significantly, the new training service supports the Royal Navy’s forthcoming introduction of Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and will increase ASW training opportunities while also maximising operational deployment of the submarine fleet. It will also provide unprecedented training analytics to optimise exercise outcomes and deliver world-leading training capabilities.
With QinetiQ as the lead partner, the new contract is the result of a progressive and close collaboration between QinetiQ, Saab and Serco. The new programme will capitalise on Saab’s state of the art AUV62-AT autonomous underwater vehicle system to provide full and effective simulation of an operational submarine in a wide range of training scenarios. Highly experienced QinetiQ personnel will coordinate, manage and control all deployment of the simulated target, with Serco providing the vessels for launch and recovery. De-risking trials were completed by the QinetiQ team at BUTEC, and two successful training serial events have already been completed off the south west coast of England.
According to the Royal Navy’s Lt Cdr Ben Costley-White, Staff Warfare Officer (Under Water) to Flag Officer Sea Training, the new contract led by QinetiQ will transform the Navy’s ASW training capabilities. “This move will enable us to harness the expertise of QinetiQ and the very latest simulation technologies to deliver comprehensive and first class ASW training exercises without the limitations posed by the practicalities and cost of redeploying submarine assets for training purposes. This represents a major step change in our training options and our ability to harness analytical data for effective evaluation of all ASW training.”
“We’re delighted to be extending our test and evaluation capabilities into the training environment for the Royal Navy,” says QinetiQ’s Stu Hider, Programme Director (Maritime). “Combining our expertise and experience in programme planning and delivery with the world’s most advanced target simulation technology will help to ensure the Royal Navy benefits from the most versatile, cost-effective and sophisticated ASW training solution.”
Photo credit: SAAB