The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced a £15 million contract awarded to the defence supplier, Leonardo, based in Edinburgh.
The contract pertains to updating the Advanced Precision Shooter (APS) for the LG L118, a core system that has seen obsolescence since its introduction in 1999.
As outlined in the contract award notice:
“Updating of the obsolesce for the APS for the LG L118”
Leonardo is positioned as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for the APS, which plays a pivotal role in the performance and operational effectiveness of the Light Gun. Over time, both the physical and software components of the APS have faced obsolescence issues.
Three key challenges were highlighted:
- The INU internal GPS, gyro, and operating boards need an upgrade. As integral parts of the broader INU system, only Leonardo holds the technical knowledge for the internal repair and enhancement of the system. “The INU internal GPS, gyro and operating boards must be upgraded.“
- The LDCU requires both hardware and software updates, including compatibility for Windows 10. This is essential for security accreditation and to fix major functional issues. “The upgraded LDCU must be compatible with the Laser Inertial Navigation Artillery Pointing System (LINAPS), a bespoke diagnostic software.“
- The MVR, a distinct piece of equipment, is essential to the APS’s functionality. The integration between the MVR and LINAPS is critical for maintaining the operational capability of the Light Gun. “If MVR is not integrated with the wider APS, Light Gun will have significant loss of operational capability.“
Given Leonardo’s unique position as the only supplier with the required technical expertise, and given the firm’s proven track record in handling similar upgrades for countries like New Zealand and Canada, the contract was awarded to them.
The MOD highlighted the potential risks if the MVR isn’t correctly integrated: “Should the MVR not be integrated correctly then the Light Gun cannot meet full operational capability.”
Consequently, the contract was negotiated without prior publication of a contract notice for technical reasons, adhering to specific regulations due to Leonardo’s unique capabilities regarding the APS system and the proprietary diagnostic software.