UK Dstl awards Leonardo and QinetiQ new contract to protect armoured vehicles

The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has placed a new contract through the Aurora Engineering Delivery Partnership (EDP) for a programme targeted to improve survivability and protection for British Army armoured vehicles. Under the EDP framework, QinetiQ is lead EDP partner, and Leonardo UK is the Principal Systems Integrator. Leonardo will lead a team of major defence companies, under the name of Team Minerva, which includes: Thales, CGI, Roke, Ultra Electronics and Frazer Nash.

The programme is the successor to the Leonardo-led Icarus Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP), which was concluded in July 2021. The new contract represents the second development phase of the UK Modular Integrated Protection System (MIPS) programme for the development of a new pan-fleet active protection system architecture for British Army vehicles, including tanks and armoured personnel carriers, to handle existing, new and future threats.

“MIPS will be a life-saving technology that will also provide the UK with operational independence for a critical British Army capability,” said Leonardo UK’s VP Sales Integrated Sensing and Protection, Richard Muir. “[…] phase II of the MIPS programme will demonstrate a significant advancement in the future-proofing of capability for the British Army in this critical area of protection systems,” said Jamie MacKenzie, Head of Business Development, UK Defence, for QinetiQ.

Team Minerva will further develop the UK systems architecture standard that enables the configuration of active protection systems for a range of different armoured vehicle types. Targeting a range of threats from RPGs and guided missiles to small UAS, these layered, adaptable configurations provide the ability to reconfigure systems for diverse operational scenarios, thereby ensuring operational vehicles have the most effective protection tactics.

In addition to development of the open architecture standard, this second phase of the programme is focused on developing the MIPS Controller to TRL7 (Technology Readiness Level 7).

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(Image: The second phase contract will build upon the architecures and capabilities developed in the initial phase. Credit: UK MoD)

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