UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) has awarded QinetiQ, BMT, and Aurora Partners Atkins a 31-million-pound ($36.8 million) contract to provide engineering support for the UK Ministry of Defence’s Future Combat Air Systems (FCAS) program.
Signed under the Aurora Engineering Delivery Partnership, the three-year agreement covers technical support focusing on safety, human performance, and safety engineering discipline for the FCAS program.
The QinetiQ-led collaboration and other subcontractors will team up with the DE&S Catalyst Delivery Team, which manages the UK frontline command’s latest air capabilities.
QinetiQ’s segment Inzpire will also supply its requirements management expertise for the FCAS engineering efforts.
“The Aurora Engineering Partnership with the UK MOD and DE&S continues to go from strength to strength, providing technical support to the most complex acquisition programme,” said Nic Anderson, UK Defence CEO at QinetiQ.
“Our work with Catalyst DT will help accelerate new ways of working using digital engineering methodologies in supporting the next generation of combat air platforms.”
Next-Generation Aircraft by 2035
According to the defense ministry, the initiative is expected to sustain around 45 jobs based in Bath, Boscombe Down, Bristol, Farnborough, Lincoln, and Malvern.
“This contract with Aurora and QinetiQ is a demonstration of our commitment to working with the UK’s leading defence technology companies on FCAS,” UK Future Combat Air Director Richard Berthon said.
“Their expertise will be vital to the programme as we work at pace to deliver a next-generation combat air capability by 2035.”
UK FCAS Program
Also known as Tempest, FCAS is currently operated by around 2,500 personnel across the UK.
The program now employs 1,000 apprentices and graduates specializing in STEM fields such as artificial intelligence, industrial digitization, and data analytics.
FCAS was introduced at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow to develop a modern combat air capability.
In 2021, the UK Ministry of Defence tapped BAE Systems to begin the program’s concept and assessment phase.
The firm is working on the Tempest fighter jet demonstrator in collaboration with Leonardo, MBDA, and Rolls-Royce.