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New Unmanned Air Systems evaluation centre created

QinetiQ is working with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to establish a new Unmanned Air Systems Capability Development Centre (UASCDC) to support the rapid development of unmanned air systems (UAS) programmes from concept to deployment.

The new Centre, the first of its kind in the UK will have a hub at MOD Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, and will be fully operational by April 2013. It will help maintain the UK as a world leader in unmanned aerial systems by facilitating the bringing together of defence and industry expertise to provide an unparalleled capability that can be used throughout any programme.

The MOD seeks to maximise the efficiencies of UAS procurements ensuring safe, effective, deployable and interoperable UAS are brought into service. The Centre was set up to support MOD in this with the aim of providing an agile 'corporate memory' to help interested parties to identify existing expertise, knowledge and facilities so as to facilitate initial programme planning and accelerate the achievement of project outcomes.

The Centre will aim to:

• communicate best practice to support the maximum re-use of data and lessons learnt

• coordinate the provision of common enablers such as access to air ranges and airspace which will help the MOD to 'buy once and use many times'

• influence definition of test and training policies and implementation

• accelerate technology insertion through maximum re-use of expertise, simulation capabilities etc. to support experimentation and demonstration

• facilitate engagement between industry and the MoD to make the best use of collective expertise and facilities

Fiona Lewinton, QinetiQ UASCDC Account Director said,

"We are delighted to be working with the MOD to set up this new centre. Alongside the MOD, we are implementing a new approach so that we can combine our people's in-depth understanding of air vehicle engineering, release-to-service, integration of command and control and communications systems, and above all safety, with that of the full range of suppliers. This combined approach will allow new UAS capabilities to be brought to life more efficiently and effectively than before."

Dr Dai Morris, MOD's Head of Capability for Joint Training, Evaluation and Simulation, said, "The UASCDC is an important initiative to provide access to independent, informed and holistic UAS advice and solutions. My intention is that it will serve the widest possible audience, from researchers to operators across MOD, Industry and ultimately other Government Departments."

QinetiQ will continue to build on its core services expertise, developed through its management of the Long Term Partnering Agreement with MOD. The UASCDC will support all UAS programmes in seeking value for money by utilising its unique areas of pan UAS programme expertise.

The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Air Show's Future Defence Technologies conference and UASCDC will be involved in the Intelligent Systems Expo planned for July 2013 by the ADS Group.

Press release issued by QinetiQ on July 12, 2012


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