The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to QinetiQ to provide mobile underwater targets for the Royal Navy’s submarine-crew certification and platform readiness programme.
Under the five-year, £5.3m contract, QinetiQ’s platform readiness services team, which is based at the British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre (BUTEC), will be responsible for underwater mobile-acoustic targets.
The torpedo-sized autonomous targets reproduce the radiated noise and target-echo strength of a submarine.
Furthermore, they assist in training submarine crews to sense and / or sort targets, as well as fire training torpedoes as part of the weapon and platform acceptance trials underway for the navy’s submarine fleet, including the newest Astute class.
MoD Trials and Targets manager Tony Rodriguez said: "QinetiQ has a long history of providing a comprehensive range of high-quality, value-for-money platform readiness services in support of the Royal Navy.
"This track record, when combined with their extensive capabilities and knowledgeable and experienced staff, gave us the confidence to award them this important service contract."
In addition to the MoD, platform readiness services have also been adopted by other countries and their navies, including the US, Norway, Canada and Sweden, in addition to naval constructors such as BAE Systems, Babcock and Thales.