QinetiQ keeps it real

A team led by the UK’s QinetiQ has won a £7.8 million contract to supply a comprehensive and realistic synthetic training environment that allows pilots to train in multi-aircraft combat scenarios.


The QinetiQ-led ‘ACTIVE’ team has secured a £7.8m, 30-month contract to undertake a Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD) for the UK MOD’s Mission Training through Distributed Simulation (UK MTDS) programme. The programme will enable pilots to train in multi-aircraft combat engagements and ‘fly’ with coalition and other services in a realistic virtual combat environment.



An important part of the MOD’s overall Network Enabled Capability (NEC) programme, UK MTDS will provide a comprehensive and realistic synthetic training environment that allows pilots to train in multi-aircraft combat scenarios, where the emphasis is on tactical operations.



Team ACTIVE (Aircrew Collective Training through Immersive Virtual Events) is led by QinetiQ with other members comprising Boeing, cueSim, Evans & Sutherland (E&S), Aviation Training International Ltd (ATIL) and HVR Consulting Services.



“Until now, the first time many pilots experience complex multi-aircraft scenarios is when flying operational missions within a combat zone,” explained Andrew Sleigh QinetiQ’s MD Defence. “UK MTDS will be the exciting next stage in simulation and training, enabling pilots who have mastered the controls of their aircraft to experience and master realistic operational missions in safety. Our extensive knowledge in training, simulation and air operations means that Team ACTIVE can help the MOD refine its requirements for UK MTDS without repeating and re-learning past lessons.”



The UK MTDS CCD facility will be located at RAF Waddington with links to other training simulation facilities in the UK and in the US. It will comprise four Tornado GR4 and four Eurofighter Typhoon simulators to be built by cueSim, a seven-seat Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) simulation, plus a comprehensive exercise management and analysis suite and appropriate planning, briefing and debriefing facilities. The first event for the UK MTDS CCD is scheduled for mid 2006.



The CCD facility will be connected to other simulation facilities for some events, including ATIL’s Apache trainers at Middle Wallop in the UK and, subject to successful conclusion of UK/US Government negotiations, the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) and other facilities in the USA.



This is one of the first MOD contracts to be awarded for a Capability Concept Demonstrator, which is intended to show how mature technology can be used to improve military effectiveness. The win also demonstrates QinetiQ’s growing commercial evolution, successfully moving technology out of the laboratory and into programme delivery.