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Electronics Production | July 05, 2006

ABSL and QinetiQ Win MoD order

The MOD has just awarded ABSL Power Solutions Ltd (ABSL) and QinetiQ Ltd (QinetiQ) a contract to mature technology for the next generation of portable power systems.
The contract worth up to £5 million was awarded for up to three years, follows an open competition under the UK MOD's Technology in the Supplier Base (Output 6) research programme and will be managed within the Dismounted Close Combat Integrated Project Team (DCC IPT).

The Portable Power Systems research, placed as a Prime contract with ABSL, will involve the ABSL/QinetiQ team in the evaluation of a broad range of candidate technology solutions. Following a structured down-selection, the project team will mature two portable power systems to a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL7). A further technology option for proof of concept at a lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL3) will also be investigated.

The TRL7 technologies will inform two emerging equipment requirements. The first for a man-portable infantry power supply that should deliver dramatic improvements in energy density to support future modern soldier system requirements for the UK MOD. The second is for a large, high power system to meet the envisaged requirements for other equipment.

The ABSL/QinetiQ partnership brings together a team with knowledge, experience and intellectual capital in military power sources. This experience has been accumulated through ABSL's work in support of the global market for Military Power systems (including the FIST Assessment Phase and the delivery of the Bowman Power solution) while QinetiQ has an extensive portfolio of technology, platform experience and intellectual property, developed during its long history in the defence industry.

"The strategic investment the MOD is making in this area will ensure the UK's leading global position in Portable Power technology. It demonstrates the UK's recognition of the importance of portable power and its role within the soldier system," explained John Cowley, ABSL's Managing Director. Tom Liddell, ABSL's Business Development Manager for Soldier Modernisation added: "ABSL Power Solutions and QinetiQ form a formidable team for the development of robust military portable power systems and the team's success in winning this contract is testament to our capability within this market."

"With the growing reliance on an array of electronic capabilities both on and off the battlefield, the need for efficient, high performance yet highly portable power supplies has never been more critical for the modern soldier," added Andrew Sleigh, MD of QinetiQ's defence business. "By working with ABSL and ourselves, the MOD has access to a real understanding of technologies and requirements, along with an ability and track record of integrating appropriate technologies into existing programmes."

The use of MOD's Technology in the Supplier Base (output 6) programme provides an ideal research Incubator for Industry, Academia, and Defence Procurement Agency's IPTs to mature technologies in a way which improves exploitation potential.

This is a significant contract in the delivery of future military capability when it comes to portable power and promotes the team to a key strategic position within this global market.

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