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14 Feb 2024

Aurora Engineering Partnership awarded '13m contract by Defence Equipment and Support to provide specialist maritime combat systems

Aurora Engineering Partnership awarded '13m contract by Defence Equipment and Support to provide specialist maritime combat systems

The Aurora Engineering Partnership (EDP) has been awarded a new contract by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). Aurora EDP is a unique partnership between QinetiQ, AtkinsRéalis and BMT and is the UK Ministry of Defence’s primary route for procuring engineering services.

This new four-year contract award will provide the combat systems teams in DE&S Ship Acquisition Naval Ship Delivery Group (NSDG) with essential engineering outputs. QinetiQ will lead this work, which includes expertise from BMT and the wider Aurora Provider Network.

The new contract will provide a renewal of subject matter expert (SME) support across all aspects of the combat system acquisition and integration in Type 26 and Type 31 new build Frigate ship programmes. Building on the signing of the first joint Type 26 & Type 31 contract with Aurora EDP in early 2020, the Warship Combat System Support Service (WC3S) has been working alongside these new build Frigate ship programmes since 2014. The announcement comes as the ship build programmes progress through manufacture phases, with Royal Navy (RN) entry into service planned from 2026 onwards.

The provision of this SME expertise includes sourcing combat systems related Government Furnished Information (GFI) and supporting dockyard delivery of combat systems Government Furnished Equipment (GFE). Working closely with DE&S to ensure equipment meets current environmental, legal and shock specifications, Aurora EDP will also be responsible for liaising and managing the delivery of the GFE into Portsdown Technology Park. This will enable the de-risking of integration of combat systems equipment and in-service capability growth.

The service delivers recognised benefits to the customer, including flexibility to allow rapid re-prioritisation of outputs across the acquisition portfolio and significantly reduced cost through opportunity mapping across the two complex warship programmes. Furthermore, this enterprise approach sustains a dedicated allocation of scarce SQEP to manage delivery risk dynamically across outputs, as the platforms approach the technical hurdles of acceptance and service entry.

Capt Shaun Riordan RN, T26 Combat Systems Team Leader and WC3S Phase 3 lead said:

“The success of the programme to date is predicated on promoting the best outcome focussed behaviours. This is not a transactional programme; NSDG very much considers the Warship Combat System Support Service (WC3S) as part of the core MOD team critical to delivering these capable platforms into service with the Royal Navy. It is a significant achievement for DE&S to secure these QinetiQ-led combat systems expertise forged from the across the Enterprise for a further 4 years”.

Stu Hider, QinetiQ Programme Director Maritime commented:

“We are extremely pleased to be continuing our support to the DE&S Ships and wider Royal Navy through the EDP Warship Combat System Support Service. Recognising the importance of a smooth and timely Frigates Transition, the team is working collaboratively and finding increasingly efficient and effective ways to support T26, T31 and future acquisition programmes in de-risking entry into service with the required capability at the right time.”

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