Defence technology firm QinetiQ has hailed the success of its role in a military exercise, involving 16 ships, 31 aircraft and around 3,300 personnel from 10 Nato nations, in the Outer Hebrides.
In its latest quarterly trading update, the company said it had supported Formidable Shield, the largest live-fire integrated air and missile defence exercise of 2021.
QinetiQ said: “We provided the safe environment, logistics and range control to facilitate this trial, across the maritime and air domains.
“A range of targets were used to test defences, including subsonic, supersonic and ballistic targets.
“This is an excellent example of our investment in the LTPA contract, driving enhanced operational outcomes for our customers, increasing the demand for our ranges and QinetiQ being at the leading edge of safe delivery of complex events to ensure our Nato allies can defend against future threats.”
Hampshire-headquartered QinetiQ has a 25-year contract – its Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA) – to deliver test & evaluation and training support services to the UK Armed Forces.
Earlier this year the company said US air force target practice in the Outer Hebrides had helped boost profits.
Highlights of the 12 months to March 31 included a new five-year contract, worth £19 million, to provide training events and targets for American F-15E and F-35 fighter aircraft.
The deal involves MoD facilities at Aberporth, in Cardigan Bay, Wales and various QinetiQ-managed MoD sites on South Uist, Benbecula and St Kilda.
Reporting a “strong” first quarter, the three months to June 30, QinetiQ said it had also supported the Royal Navy’s Strike Warrior exercise on the MOD Aberporth and Hebrides ranges – using its God’s Eye View (GEV) capability.
Strike Warrior involved more than 20 warships, three submarines and 150 aircraft from 11 nations and was the final test for the Royal Navy Carrier Strike Group, spearheaded by aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, before its first operational deployment.
The GEV system developed by QinetiQ allowed the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to enhance training value from the exercise, thanks to near real-time monitoring of the event.
Each military asset was tracked across waters off north-west Scotland by connecting sensors across the Hebrides range, as well as RAF bases, through a “digital backbone”.