QinetiQ and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) are investing £20 million into MOD Shoeburyness to upgrade the Environmental Test Centre (ETC) based at the range.
Munitions, ordnance and explosives are subjected to extreme conditions in the ETC, before being tested in live exercises on the range.
Part of a strategy to modernise UK test & evaluation, the investment will ensure that the ETC remains the leading facility of its type in the UK and, combined with improved efficiencies, will enable more work to be conducted at the range*.
Throughout their life span, all Ordnance, Munitions and Explosive (OME) assets will be subjected to many and varied environmental conditions, but must still perform as intended when functioned. The ETC provides facilities, technology and expertise to allow customers to safely assess how their live munitions react when subjected to these various different environments and climates so that they can have confidence it will work when and where they really need it.
Using remotely controlled test equipment, the ETC can replicate vibration, shock and impact effects under extremes of temperatures and carry out climatic tests such as humidity, driving rain, immersion, and sand and dust. Radiographic equipment is also used to carry out non-destructive inspection throughout the testing programme.
The £20m investment will fund new and refurbished and expanded test buildings, the replacement of ageing and obsolete equipment and the recruitment of additional specialist engineers to strengthen the technical team’s capability.
Steve Fitz-Gerald, Managing Director Maritime, Land and Weapons, QinetiQ, said: “At QinetiQ we are seeing a real increase in demand from customers who require the type of activity that only the Environmental Test Centre can provide. This investment is a direct response to that. Being able to provide confidence to a customer that their Ordnance, Munitions and Explosive (OME) assets can perform as designed in all weather and climatic conditions is vital to our national security. The investment will allow for a more varied number of tests and increase the capacity to meet the demand for this work, providing value for money to our customers.”
QinetiQ manages MOD Shoeburyness on behalf of the MOD as part of the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA).