Speeding up mine sweeper

The Atlas-QED consortium, consisting of Atlas Elektronik UK, Qinetiq and EDO, has been awarded an MoD contract to speed up the transfer of research on mine sweeping technology into industry.

The consortium will supply a mine counter measures (MCM) unmanned surface vessel demonstrator system using a flexible agile sweeping technology (FAST) technology readiness demonstrator (TRD). According to Atlas-QED, this technology would be the most cost-effective way to replace the MoD’s combined influence sweep (CIS) platform.

‘Our knowledge, understanding and successful track record of delivering research programmes from demonstrator to deployment will play a key part in de-risking the key technologies for delivering unmanned surface vessel-based mine counter measures,’ said Andrew Bailey, managing director for Qinetiq’s sea division.

As well as using MoD’s existing mine sweeping research, the FAST components will be developed with an open architecture approach.

Building, testing and evaluation of the FAST TRD is scheduled for completion by December 2008.

Qinetiq will use its Bincleaves test site to conduct sea trials before formal demonstrations take place in early 2009.