in Defence

QinetiQ fields Airbus H145 to transform vital MoD transport and supply line

Posted 3 September 2020 · Add Comment

QinetiQ has invested in a new Airbus H145 helicopter to extend capabilities and operational efficiencies for the LTPA (Long Term Partnering Agreement) Range Helicopter Service that covers the Ministry of Defence (MoD) BUTEC and Hebrides sites in North West Scotland.

Above: The Airbus H145 helicopter was assembled at the Donauwörth Airbus factory in Germany, where it was also fully painted in QinetiQ livery prior to being flown to Airbus in Oxford, UK.
Courtesy QinetiQ / ©

The service provides a vital transport and supply line for critical MoD programmes including the Continuous At Sea Deterrent and the ferrying of key range operators to their remote locations on the Applecross peninsula, Rona island and St. Kilda. The introduction of a new aircraft for the service will extend service capabilities significantly and is expected to deliver considerable operational efficiencies.
Following the main assembly of the aircraft at the Airbus factory in Donauwörth in Germany, QinetiQ’s Air Test and Evaluation Capability team worked in partnership with Airbus Helicopters UK to undertake interim aircraft acceptance and complete a number of modifications and enhanced safety features.  The additional specifications were required to meet the specific operational needs of the Range Helicopter Service. Full painting of the aircraft in QinetiQ livery was also completed prior to its first flight and subsequent delivery to Airbus in Oxford.
Final preparations and testing are now underway to ensure the new aircraft meets all projected LTPA requirements prior to entry into service in late 2020. Range specialists at MoD BUTEC and Hebrides have been working in close collaboration with the Airbus and QinetiQ project teams to complete the testing and acceptance programme and deliver a seamless entry into service of the new H145.
The decision to invest in the new aircraft was the culmination of many months of assessment and planning within a cross-business project involving QinetiQ’s Air Range Modernisation programme team and the company’s Air Test and Evaluation Capability team based at Boscombe Down.  
The new H145 helicopter represents a substantial capability uplift for the ranges, with QinetiQ also investing in the new resource to further enhance MoD investment and extend the company’s fleet of civil aircraft.  It also demonstrates the benefits of QinetiQ’s new civil aviation capabilities and its renewed partnership with the MoD via the LTPA.

“In view of the critical nature of the Range Helicopter Service, everyone has pulled out all of the stops to complete the acquisition of the new helicopter within a very challenging time frame, despite the restrictions posed by the COVID-19 lock down,” says QinetiQ’s Project Manager, Donald Lundie. “This is a significant programme in many respects as the capability gains and service enhancements provided by the new helicopter will be matched with significant cost savings and operational efficiencies. Such outcomes are fully aligned with our key objectives to modernise and develop capabilities while also ensuring value for money for the British taxpayer.”
The LTPA Range Helicopter Service provides vital capability and supply lines for teams at extremely remote locations and has continued to grow in both scale and importance over the past two decades. Today, flying typically amount to 400 hours a year across 800 sorties, with reliability, resilience and flexibility all essential requirements of the service. During May the H145 successfully completed Interim Acceptance for both ground and flight checks at Airbus’s facility in Oxfordshire and as such, ownership of the helicopter has now transferred to QinetiQ.



* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Airbus reveals new zero-emission concept aircraft

Airbus has revealed three concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft, all running on hydrogen, which could enter service by 2035.

Boeing, Honeywell and Rolls-Royce partner to service H-47 Chinook engines

Boeing, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland Ltd. have reached an agreement to provide in-service support of the T-55 engine should the government of Germany select the H-47 Chinook for its Schwerer

BAE Systems awarded US Navy mine neutraliser contract

BAE Systems has been awarded a contract worth up to £87 million by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to manufacture and deliver Archerfish mine neutralisers for the US Navy.

Resonate Testing nurturing young talent

Newry based testing company, Resonate Testing Ltd, has invested in future development by offering young talent a number of intern and graduate opportunities.

Moyola awarded SC21 Gold Award

Moyola Precision Engineering (Moyola), a family business in Northern Ireland playing an integral part in the aerospace and defence supply chain, has been awarded their third consecutive Gold performance award as part of the 21st

Nasmyth Henton awarded Nadcap NDT Merit Status

Nasmyth Henton has been awarded Nadcap Merit Status for its Non-Destructive Testing (NDT).

Getac SK2606280920
See us at