QinetiQ has secured a contract to provide support for the testing and acceptance trials of the UK Royal Navy's third Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Artful (S121).
Under terms of the contract, QinetiQ will support four separate work packages, which include acoustic, magnetic signatures, weapon discharge and electronic warfare calibration for the 97m-long, 7,400t nuclear-powered attack submarine.
The acceptance and testing trials include static and underway acoustic signature measurements, magnetic signature measurements and optimisation, weapon discharge and electronic warfare calibration.
QinetiQ will be responsible for managing the range infrastructures and all aspects of range safety. The company will also gather information throughout the programme to produce comprehensive reports at the end of each trial in order to support acceptance and the operational handover of the submarine to the Royal Navy.
QinetiQ stealth information and range services head Phil Metcalfe said: "We have developed a long and fruitful relationship with the MoD sea trials team and are very pleased to be working on the third of the Astute class of submarines.
"We are constantly looking at ways to improve the value we deliver and increase the efficiency of the testing and acceptance trials by reducing costs, generating actionable information and improving the whole process."
As part of the contract, the company will also provide specific knowledge and expertise in areas, such as acoustics and magnetics, as necessary.
The trials will be carried out on QinetiQ managed ranges and in open sea.
Image: The Royal Navy's third Astute-class nuclear-powered submarine, HMS Artful. Photo: courtesy of QinetiQ.