QinetiQ, Thales and Textron AirLand have announced a collaboration that will offer the Scorpion jet for the UK’s upcoming Air Support to Defence Operational Training programme.
According to a press release, the operational training activities that will comprise the ASDOT programme are currently fulfilled by a number of providers, both military and civilian. This team will propose an innovative, cost effective, technologically advanced reliable managed service using the Textron AirLand Scorpion jet equipped with Thales and QinetiQ sensors to provide a broad spectrum of training for all three armed services. The competitive contract, expected to be awarded in September 2018 with a service delivery start in Jan 2020, is anticipated to be worth up to £1.2bn over 15 years.
Steve Wadey, QinetiQ CEO, said:
“Our test and evaluation pedigree makes us ideally placed to introduce the highly capable Scorpion for use in the ASDOT programme. Our people are experts in cost effective aircraft operation, providing significant savings to the MOD while offering the highest standard of support to UK defence operational training. Collaborative working of this nature is vital within the aerospace and defence industries, and I believe this partnership puts us all in a strong position to succeed.”
Victor Chavez, Thales UK CEO, said:
“Through this unique partnership with QinetiQ and Textron and the complementary expertise within our respective fields, we have the opportunity to offer all three armed services the most effective, cutting edge technology coupled with world leading training and services expertise. The UK Ministry of Defence will be able to benefit from the collaboration of technologies and knowledge to deliver important long-term Air Operational Training services.”
Textron AirLand has developed the Scorpion, they say, as a highly affordable and exportable twin-engine ISR/Strike/Trainer jet for the tactical military aviation market.
They further describe the aircraft as:
“A versatile jet platform based on leading-edge technologies, Scorpion is designed as a multi-mission aircraft for diverse battlefield, security and training missions.”
Listed on the London Stock Exchange, QinetiQ is a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defence, security and aerospace markets. Their customers are predominantly government organisations including defence departments, as well as international customers in other targeted sectors.