QinetiQ advances UK to vanguard of maritime mission systems

Posted on 30 October, 2020 by Advance 

The National Maritime Systems Centre (NMSC) based at Portsdown Technology Park (PTP), has been transferred from VolkerFitzpatrick, who managed the construction, to QinetiQ.

Image courtesy QinetiQ

PTP is the UK focus for design, integration, test, evaluation and front line support of the complex software-intensive systems that deliver the Royal Navy’s fighting capability.

PTP has over 50 years’ worth of heritage in enabling the Ministry of Defence to achieve maximum value from its equipment and ensuring safe and effective mission systems for the Royal Navy.

The transfer this month is a significant development, marking the culmination of many years of planning, with the final stages of building taking place in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Support has been provided from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and HM Government’s Local Growth Fund.

The centre will spearhead technological advances including autonomy, intelligent systems and big data. This addresses the longer term strategic need for a facility that is capable of exploiting emerging technologies at pace to meet the challenges of complex maritime systems development and delivery for the UK and globally.

QinetiQ will create more modern working environment to attract the next generation of local talent and create a centre of excellence for maritime systems experts. To support this aim, an Innovation and Collaboration Hub (ICH) will offer opportunities for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with QinetiQ and other tenants. This hub is already attracting interest from SMEs keen to collaborate with incoming tenants. The benefits of collaboration with SMEs are abundant, including the social value impact of providing more job opportunities, supply chain diversity, bringing in new ideas and competitiveness.

The NMSC includes combat systems laboratories in a secure environment, offices, a central glazed atrium, a 100-seat auditorium and a number of other important assets. The extent of the high quality of the facility is evident by the achievement of an Excellent rating under the BREEAM scheme, the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings.

Work is now underway to fit out the building ready for occupation by the QinetiQ team and tenants in January 2021.

Stuart Deverill, Managing Director of VolkerFitzpatrick Building Division commented: “It has been a pleasure to work with QinetiQ as their construction partner for the NMSC. The impressive end product demonstrates the true benefits of clearly defined shared project goals and close collaborative working.”

Steve Fitz-Gerald, Group Managing Director of QinetiQ Maritime and Land Division commented: “This is truly a momentous time for the team at PTP and more than six years in the making. Construction has not been easy, especially in the last six months with COVID measures in place to keep everyone working on site safe.  Throughout the construction period, the team at PTP continued to deliver to the Royal Navy. We have created a centre of excellence for Maritime Systems to inspire our current and future generations and deliver mission-led innovation for our customers.”