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Programme To Investigate And Improve Target Accuracy For Missiles

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Hampshire, England (SPX) Jul 21, 2005
A consortium led by QinetiQ has just won one of the first contracts to be funded by the UK Government's 'Guided Weapons Tower of Excellence' initiative. Lasting three years, this ¿2m programme will concentrate on the development of new concepts for terminal missile guidance and seeker technologies - the final target acquisition stage - for guided weapons.

"This programme is an excellent example of how the MOD is increasing the value it receives from fundamental defence research," stated Andrew Sleigh, QinetiQ's MD Defence. "What's more, work done in initial phase research programmes like this often evolves or contributes towards broader defence and commercialisation programmes and ensures that we remain at the technological cutting edge."

In addition to QinetiQ, which is providing the overall project management plus bidding into specific studies, other consortium members comprise MBDA, Roke Manor Research, RMCS Cranfield, Selex (formerly part of BAE Systems) and Thales (Basingstoke). The initial three year programme will see up to eight new 'high risk' enabling studies, selected every six months.

Each fundamental idea will be explored by a team of experts and a report produced and presented for consideration. Any of these that show promise will then receive stage two funding to enable further, more detailed research to be initiated.

"We are looking for significant step changes in the way missiles and other guided weapons acquire and home in on the final target when compared to today¿s systems, and it is only by undertaking this research that we can ensure the capabilities and superiority of our future weapon systems," explained Dr Chris Leach, the MOD's Research Director lead for Weapons, Platforms and Effectors.

"As with most 'blue-sky' type research, we expect to have a number of studies that don't make it past the first stage, but we are confident that a number of others will show promise and these can be progressed further."

QinetiQ has won three of the first wave of projects: a study to investigate the design and benefits of UHF radar seeker antennas for countering stealth, CCD (camouflage, concealment and deception) and for foliage penetration in surface attack scenarios; a study to investigate multi-roles for reduced area RF antennas employing metamaterials - a new class of materials; and a study to look at low cost, light weight and broadband adaptive antennas using photo-conductive polymers.

MBDA and RMCS-Cranfield each won one of the other studies in the initial wave with Thales also receiving three.

Andrew Sleigh concluded: "By bringing together QinetiQ and the other key players in the consortium we have been able to form a much stronger and more integrated research team. We can collectively agree which technologies offer the best potential and mutually collaborate across a number of initiatives.

"This provides the MOD with the focus and profile it deserves plus the critical mass of support and the breadth and depth of experience, expertise and the resources required to address the complex and important weapons and terminal guidance missile capabilities needed to meet future requirements."

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Successful Missile Test Firings From F-111 Aircraft
Woomera, Australia (SPX) Jul 14, 2005
Two missiles have been successfully fired from an F-111 aircraft at the Woomera Test Range in South Australia, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced Tuesday.







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