QinetiQ has confirmed it has secured a new contract to provide the Royal Navy with advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training services using the latest target simulation technology from Saab.

The firm say that the new contract will extend QinetiQ’s long-term partnership role at the MoD’s British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre (BUTEC) at the Kyle of Lochalsh into the training environment.

Significantly say the firm, the new training service supports the Royal Navy’s forthcoming introduction of Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and will increase ASW training opportunities while also maximising operational deployment of the submarine fleet.

“With QinetiQ as the lead partner, the new contract is the result of a progressive and close collaboration between QinetiQ, Saab and Serco.  The new programme will capitalise on Saab’s state of the art AUV62-AT autonomous underwater vehicle system to provide full and effective simulation of an operational submarine in a wide range of training scenarios.

Highly experienced QinetiQ personnel will coordinate, manage and control all deployment of the simulated target, with Serco providing the vessels for launch and recovery. De-risking trials were completed by the QinetiQ team at BUTEC, and two successful training serial events have already been completed off the south west coast of England.”

“This represents a major step change in our training options and our ability to harness analytical data for effective evaluation of all ASW training. We’re delighted to be extending our test and evaluation capabilities into the training environment for the Royal Navy,” says QinetiQ’s Stu Hider, Programme Director (Maritime).

“Combining our expertise and experience in programme planning and delivery with the world’s most advanced target simulation technology will help to ensure the Royal Navy benefits from the most versatile, cost-effective and sophisticated ASW training solution.”

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DaveyB
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DaveyB

The AUV62-AT is designed to mimic the signature of a submarine and even a torpedo so that ASW assets can do realistic training. According to the brochure it is 530mm (21″) in diameter and 4 to 6.5m long.
So here’s a thought, considering the dimension, which I believe will fit a standard torpedo tube. Why couldn’t an Astute or T class boat carry a couple of these and use them as a decoy in either defence or using it to flush out an enemy sub?

James
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James

I’d have thought that if you needed to release a decoy to confuse an enemy sub it would probably be a good time to fire the real thing. It’s going to reveal your position pretty quickly

DaveyB
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DaveyB

Nah, my thoughts were, launch the drone from outside a known danger area. Make the drone mimic a noisy T boat or Astute and let the real sub sneak in behind it. Enemy detects and launches on drone, whilst our real sub has located the enemy’s position and launches on it. Maybe helpful where you know there are very quiet electric boats operating. Just a thought.

Callum
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Callum

The issue with that is you’re straight away announcing your presence: the enemy might be initially firing at the decoy, but they now know for a fact there’s a hostile submarine out there. Suddenly that known danger zone becomes a lot more dangerous as everyones in high alert before you even get there