UK set to continue world class defence materials research
QinetiQ and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced on 2 July 2012 the award of a contract for research funding for the next three years to maintain the UK’s world-leading expertise into defence advanced materials. The funding, worth £11.7 million, has been granted by the MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) as part of its Materials And Structures Technology (MAST) Science and Technology Centre (STC) and has been awarded to a QinetiQ led consortium including Malvern Optical Ltd, MBDA, NPL, Q-Par Angus, and several UK universities.
The funding will allow QinetiQ and its partners to establish a world class facility, primarily sited in Farnborough and Pershore, which will enable companies from around the UK to conduct research and test new materials. Ultimately these materials will be used to protect UK armed forces in the air, at sea and on land.
The new facility will act as a national hub enabling vital collaborative work amongst Dstl’s MAST STC members from around the country to meet current and future defence needs. The facilities are open for use (subject to contract and with prior agreement from Dstl) for the benefit of UK industry and academia. The facility will transition from initial to full operational capability between March 2012 and April 2013.
Chris Gibson, Programme Director, Defence Capabilities and Systems, Dstl Programme Office said: “We start from the presumption that work should be conducted by external suppliers unless there is a clear reason for it to be done or led by Dstl, and this is another great example of Dstl funding the best placed multi-organisational team to undertake the research and deliver the project.”
“Dstl’s MAST STC pursues excellence in structures science and technology for defence applications investigating novel technologies and fostering engagement with industry and academia. This means encouraging the formation of research teams and exploiting research in to military technology and equipment.”
Dave Moore, Group Lead, Smart Technologies and Stealth, QinetiQ said, “This funding will ensure that the UK remains at the cutting edge of defence advanced materials research and enable us to maintain our position as a world leading company in this area. In conjunction with programmes supported by the MOD DE&S organisation and delivered by QinetiQ, this programme secures an enduring capability for the UK for at least the next 3 years.”