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QinetiQ's Unmanned Fast Inshore Attack Craft Into Service With The Royal Navy

Two QinetiQ unmanned FIAC's. Credit: QinetiQ.
by Staff Writers
Hampshire, UK (SPX) Oct 30, 2006
Delivered by QinetiQ on time and within a 500,000 pound budget, the Royal Navy has accepted into service two remotely controlled Fast Inshore Attack Craft for use during live firing training exercises. The design of the craft exploits the technology developed by QinetiQ engineers that helped the RN to clear a key strategic waterway of mines in Iraq during Operation TELIC - the first time the RN used unmanned surface vessels in an operational role.

The FIAC RT (Fast Inshore Attack Craft Realistic Target) will be deployed by Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) and integrated into the existing sea training programme for Royal Navy ships.

Comprising a rigid inflatable boat capable of moving at speed either independently, or while towing a target, the FIAC RT is operated remotely. This allows its operator to conduct manoeuvres safely and realistically whilst live firing training exercises are conducted with small calibre weapons at close proximity to the Naval platform 'under attack'.

FIAC RT Project Manager, ATS IPT, Colin Leat said: "I would like to thank QinetiQ's unmanned surface vehicle team for delivering the programme on time and to budget. The excellent working relationship that was developed between QinetiQ and the ATS IPT has enabled the post acceptance programme to be accelerated and the FIAC RT has been accepted into service over two months early."

QinetiQ's Group MD for Defence and Technology, Andrew Sleigh, said: "QinetiQ is often called upon to provide speedy technology solutions, but these are usually specific and for just one purpose. Once used, they are usually discarded and so it is very pleasing to see a system originally developed as an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) being adapted to provide another important function."

The FIAC RT will help to improve personnel skill levels and ship safety against asymmetric threats.

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Kleve, Germany (SPX) Oct 30, 2006
"Decision superiority" attained with the help of unmanned aircraft will play a key role in future air, space and cyberspace missions for the Air Force and NATO, the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe said here Oct. 18. Acting in his role as director of the multinational Joint Air Power Competence Center, Air Force Gen. William T. Hobbins spoke at the annual JAPCC Air Power Conference.

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