Qinetiq has won a contract from the VT Group to improve safety for mine clearance activities in Saudi Arabia by replacing their magnetic and acoustic sea ranges.

The contract is Qinetiq's first in respect of ranging systems and includes an extended through life support element.

VT Group, their partners, BAE, and the UK MoD Saudi Arabia Project (MoD SAP) see the arrangement as key to their provision of an agreed level of capability to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF).

Qinetiq's ranging systems exploit technologies that have been developed at its Winfrith and Portland sites for the UK MoD over a number of years. Three systems will be delivered to Saudi Arabia over the next 14 months and they will provide the RSNF with a modern modular COTS based magnetic and acoustic ranging capability. This will allow them to accurately assess the signatures of their three Al-Jawf class Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMVs).

Two of the ranges will be fixed, seabed mounted ranges located in littoral waters off the coast of Saudi Arabia. The third range, a Transportable Acoustic Range, will be in the form of a rugged Sonobuoy and will facilitate operational assessment of acoustic signatures in remote locations.

In addition to equipment, Qinetiq will provide spares, through life support and a fully tailored in-country training package. Acceptance of the systems will be conducted in Saudi Arabia under the control of the VT Group in conjunction with BAE, MOD SAP, the RSNF and their own advisers.