Robust Global Navigation Systems contract placed

Published 10th September 2019.

£67m contract with QinetiQ to deliver increased capability and resilience in armed forces GPS navigation systems

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The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract worth £67 million with Malvern-based QinetiQ to provide the Robust Global Navigational System (R-GNS).

An innovative step-up in assured capability to existing GPS receivers used in defence global GPS navigation systems for the armed forces, R-GNS will build on existing technology which serves the Armed Forces well, to deliver increased levels of capability, that will greatly improve the resilience of positioning, navigation and timing in military environments.

R-GNS is innovative as it is designed to be small and light, and resilient to false signal and jamming threats, the R-GNS will provide accurate assured position, navigation and time data to applications both at home and abroad and across defence equipment, including communication, missile and situational awareness systems.

“This exciting and innovative technology has been made possible through the close cooperation of engineers from DE&S, DSTL and QinetiQ”

The programme will develop hardware and software that will accept open source signals from any positional satellite system, remaining effective in all hostile environments, where jamming can become more sophisticated and prevalent. 

Minster of Defence Procurement Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Whether it’s soldiers conducting operations in remote environments or fighter jet pilots flying in contested airspace, our armed forces depend on satellite navigation technology.

“These state-of-the-art receivers will help to ensure our armed forces can defend UK interests wherever and whenever they are threatened.”

The R-GNS is manufactured by QinetiQ in their Malvern facilities. Over the course of the 10-year programme, the contract will create 70 jobs in QinetiQ, with an additional 25 jobs throughout the rest of the UK supply chain.

Defence Equipment and Support’s Director Engineering and Safety, Tim Rowntree, said: “This exciting and innovative technology has been made possible through the close cooperation of engineers from DE&S, DSTL and QinetiQ. We have made rapid progress, and I’m very grateful to everyone involved for making this happen.”

This capability will be available for other platform and weapon-system projects to exploit by integrating it into their GNSS requirements.

It is planned that the Robust Global Navigation Systems will be fully operational for use by the Armed Forces by 2023.

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