The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a £1bn testing and evaluation (T&E) services contract to QinetiQ.
Under a 25-year long-term partnering agreement (LTPA), QinetiQ has been providing test and evaluation services to the UK MoD since 2003.
The latest contract amendment requires the company to modernise and operate air ranges at MoD Aberporth and MoD Hebrides.
QinetiQ will also evaluate aircrew training through the Empire Test Pilots’ School at MoD Boscombe Down.
UK Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: “This new deal will ensure our armed forces get world-class training and testing facilities and services while making substantial efficiencies, ensuring excellent value for money for the taxpayer.
“Backed by a rising defence budget and our £178bn equipment plan, all three sites will continue to have a major role in supporting our defence capability. This investment will help secure their futures for the longer term.”
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QinetiQ and the UK MoD are investing £180m in facilities and equipment to support the LTPA.
Around £95m will be invested in modern tracking equipment, instrumentation and infrastructure to reduce operating costs at the MoD Aberporth and MoD Hebrides ranges.
Another £85m will be spent to replace the oldest aircraft in the current fleet with new, advanced models.
QinetiQ CEO Steve Wadey said: “This contract amendment represents a huge step forward in the modernisation of UK Defence T&E to enable the safety and operational advantage of our Armed Forces in the 21st century.
“Our investment demonstrates that we are committed to transforming our ways of working with both UK MoD and wider industry, to deliver air ranges and test aircrew training that are relevant and competitive for the UK Armed Forces as well as government and industry customers around the world.”
QinetiQ will work with partners in the Royal Air Force’s Air Warfare Centre to introduce a new test pilot syllabus at MoD Boscombe Down from 2019.