05 April 2013 - QinetiQ Stealth Information & Range Services, a leading provider of naval trials programmes to reduce time to platform service in a safe and secure working environment, is supporting the UK Royal Navy in bringing Astute-class submarines into service. A total of seven boats will be constructed by BAE Systems Submarine Solutions.
The first of class, HMS Astute, was launched in 2007. It is the latest class of nuclear-powered fleet submarines in service with the UK Royal Navy and is setting a new standard in terms of weapons load, communication facilities and stealth. As part of the process of bringing the submarines into service, the manufacturer develops a sea trials package to test the performance of the submarines against the defined requirements before they are accepted into service.
QinetiQ has managed many of the independent sea trials on the Astute-class submarines to date. The trials have been carried out on QinetiQ managed ranges in the UK of which it operates 17 core MOD-owned or leased sites for test, evaluation and training support. QinetiQ provide an independent view of the performance of the submarine against the requirements providing advice and feedback to both the trials team and the end user, Royal Navy Command.
“QinetiQ add real value over and above just testing to meet specifications because they have a built up a significant understanding of submarines. Combine this with their many years’ of experience of running complex and successful trials programmes, supported by a knowledgeable team, makes them an excellent partner,” said Gary Dunn, Trials Manager for Astute, MoD.
As part of the trials programme, QinetiQ provide a range of specialist services including radar cross section, torpedo firing, electronic warfare calibration, target echo strength, de-perming, electromagnetics noise and vibration and acoustics testing and technical support. During complex trials, an understanding of the interactions of all asset dynamics is important to ensure each element is properly controlled and operated safely. QinetiQ are very well placed to deliver this understanding.
“We have been delivering services to the UK Royal Navy to help them in their drive to make their ships and submarines harder to detect and capable of assessing threats for over 30 years. These services are built on a an extensive range of capabilities including radar cross section, noise and vibration, target echo strength, electro magnetics and electronic warfare calibration. The trails we are running on the Astute Class submarines are an excellent example of what we can deliver,” said Phil Metcalfe, Head of Stealth Information & Range Services.
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