QinetiQ has announced that its Naval Combat Systems Integration Support Service (NCSISS) contract has been extended to include the British Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

This £9m contract extension follows the 11-year, £109m contract signed by the company with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in September 2016.

The NCSISS contract is being delivered by QinetiQ in collaboration with the Royal Navy, BAE Systems and the UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).

The original NCSISS contract was signed in 2012 as a four-year programme to provide shore testing capability to approve ship combat mission equipment prior before installation on vessels.

Under the latest contract, QinetiQ will provide essential combat system support to the two aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and its sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales.

The aircraft carrier will benefit from the advanced systems testing and evaluation programmes offered by QinetiQ and its partners’ team of specialists based at Portsdown Technology Park.

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“Receiving confirmation of the contract extension demonstrates the unique capabilities, resources and expertise we have at Portsdown Technology Park.”

The contract extension aims to reduce the time taken on testing combat mission systems on the vessels while increasing operational availability and deployment for the Royal Navy.

QinetiQ Maritime, Land and Weapons managing director Steve Fitz-Gerald said: “We are passionate about delivering world-class systems for the UK frontline.

“The success of the NCSISS has enabled us and our partners to ensure the UK Royal Navy’s surface fleet is at peak operational performance at all times. Receiving confirmation of the contract extension, which includes the largest warships in the fleet, demonstrates the unique capabilities, resources and expertise we have at Portsdown Technology Park.

“It is also very timely news as we progress with our plans to extend our capabilities and create a truly world-class centre for innovation, integration and testing of maritime mission systems.”

QinetiQ is also providing combat system expertise for the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 Global Combat Ships and other surface platforms at Portsdown Technology Park.