CATS contract for QinetiQ

QinetiQ has been named as preferred bidder to provide a Combined Aerial Target Service for air defence training and test and evaluation for the UK’s armed forces over the next 20 years.


QinetiQ has been named as preferred bidder to provide a Combined Aerial Target Service (CATS) for air defence training and test and evaluation for the UK‘s armed forces over the next 20 years. QinetiQ was selected ahead of the Serco/EADS Firecats consortium.



Under CATS, QinetiQ will provide all of the UK MOD’s aerial target requirements. It will continue to deliver the aerial target service at Aberporth, South Wales, which it currently provides as part of the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA) and which represents a significant part of the new CATS contract.



In addition QinetiQ will provide a service for ground-based air defence training, aerial target services for the Royal Navy, and an air-to-air service for the RAF. The service will be capable of operating from any suitable range worldwide.



Andrew Sleigh, QinetiQ’s Group Managing Director for Defence, said: “CATS is a complex contract, providing a flexible service worldwide that is key to the air defence training of our armed forces for the next 20 years.”



Sleigh added: “A key feature of our bid is our use of the best, proven targets on the market, a function of QinetiQ’s independence from manufacturers.”



The target technologies central to QinetiQ’s bid are already in service with UK and overseas customers. Mirach 100/5 targets from Galileo Avionica are already fully integrated at Aberporth, as part of QinetiQ’s current aerial target provision under the LTPA.



Meggitt Defence Systems’ Banshee targets, which will now be operated by QinetiQ, are also fully integrated at UK ranges in Manorbier, Aberporth and the Hebrides. The Meggitt Voodoo intermediate target and helicopter pop-up target complete the suite of targets that comprise the total service.



Later this year QinetiQ’s aerial target systems will also be used in air combat training for US aircrews based in Europe.



Utilising the MOD’s Aberporth, West Freugh and HebridesRanges and with training focused on precision guided munitions and air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, the US aircrews will receive tactical training not available on any other European range.


QinetiQ manages and operates the MOD’s 22 principal test and evaluation ranges through the 25-year LTPA, awarded in 2003.