QinetiQ has won a contract valued at £18.7 million (€20.6 million) to help protect Royal Navy (RN) surface vessels and submarines, the company announced on 9 August.

The Operational Assessment of Signatures Informing Susceptibility (OASIS) programme will help reduce the acoustic and electromagnetic signatures of RN vessels and protect their crews from adversaries.

Each ship or submarine has a unique acoustic and electromagnetic signature - the bigger this signature, the easier it is to detect, identify and potentially attack the vessel. Measuring and understanding this signature over the lifetime of a vessel gives commanders the confidence to fight and win in combat at sea.

Over a dozen services will be made available through the existing Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA) – using new event types and an output-based approach to deliver a more cost-effective service to the RN. Outputs are provided from a range of signature detection capabilities, including underwater radiated noise; radar cross section; target echo strength; and electromagnetics, supported by an extensive range of facilities, equipment and software delivered by highly skilled and knowledgeable engineers.

The LTPA is a 25-year contract with the Ministry of Defence to provide the facilities and expertise needed to generate and assure the equipment and new technology needed by the UK’s armed forces.

As part of the new contract, all signature information collected will be stored within the Navy’s Maritime Knowledge Management (MKM) system, enabling stakeholders to access and use the repository of information as an aid to decision-making on the management of individual platform signatures.

In a world where the pace of technological change is increasing and those that would wish the UK harm have access to ever more sophisticated equipment, it is vital that the Royal Navy is able to protect its fleet of warships and the women and men who serve on them […] We are making a massive investment to create a modernised LTPA and the OASIS contract will be able to turn this investment into real value for our customers. Teams across QinetiQ continue to play a significant role in the modernisation of UK test and evaluation and development of capability for our forces,” commented QinetiQ’s Managing Director, Maritime, Land and Weapons, Steve Fitz-Gerald.

OASIS will provide acoustic signature management for a wide range of existing and future RN platforms, such as the first three Type 26 Global Combat Ships currently under construction. (Image: Royal Navy)

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