QinetiQ-led team wins $9.8 million research contract for European guided artillery munition

FARNBOROUGH, England, 27 Feb. 2007. QinetiQ in Farnborough, England, won a contract worth 5 million pounds ($9.8 million) to conduct research in guidance, navigation, and control, as well as in the composite shell body, for the future European ImpaQt 155-millimeter artillery-fired guided munition.

QinetiQ is the United Kingdom prime contractor for Team ImpaQt. The program focuses on reducing overall risk in two key guided-munition technology areas: Guidance navigation and control (GNC) architecture; and composite shell body structural integrity.

Team ImpaQt is composed of the European defense companies QinetiQ; NEXTER (until recently known as Giat Industries) in Versailles, France; BAE Systems Bofors AB in Karlskoga, Sweden; and MBDA in London. MBDA is owned jointly by BAE Systems, EADS, and FINMECCANIA.

Team ImpaQt is conducting guided munition and related research programs for the United Kingdom and French ministries of defense. By exploiting the synergies between these programs, Team ImpaQt customers gain maximum advantage without compromising individual governmental aspirations for their particular munitions.

Building on knowledge gained within the team during previous risk reduction activities, the two work packages will commence with a design phase and go through to live firing demonstrations. The GNC architecture developed within the program will be modelled using a six-degree-of-freedom model to predict the performance of two munitions, known as ImpaQt Mk1 and Mk2.

ImpaQt Mk1 consists of a metal shell body, containing various payloads, and the airframe is aerodynamically stabilized by a freely spinning tail fin assembly. The ImpaQt Mk1 concept is proposed as the basis for the airframe in the French Munition Portée Precision Accrué (MPPA) demonstrator program.

The ImpaQt Mk2 concept offers enhanced capability over existing munitions by using lightweight composite materials to reduce the overall mass to achieve greater accuracy, range and payload delivery.

The firing trials will test the design of the on-board GNC sub-system, and its ability to withstand firing, and the structural integrity of the composite shell-body design.

"In developing this family of advanced gun-launched precision guided munitions we will be extending and providing modern capabilities to an already extensive global arsenal of indirect fire applications," explains John Anderson, managing director of QinetiQ's weapons business. "Team ImpaQt provides unparalleled experience and capability in this rapidly evolving area of defense systems and the products it develops are designed to satisfy the most demanding user requirements."

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