BAE engineers will share in part of £32m funding

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ENGINEERS working at BAE Systems’ site in Broad Oak, Hilsea, will benefit from a £32m contract awarded by the government yesterday.

The research and development contract will last for the next three years, and involve BAE’s Combat Systems – the engineers who design the brains of every ship built for the navy.

Combat Systems engineers develop equipment to monitor the environment around a ship, not least using sonar, radar and other sensors.

As part of the three-year programme, a BAE Systems team from its naval ships and submarines businesses will research how to improve ships’ ability to gather and process information about its surrounding environment.

The deal brings together other research firms and academics under the banner of Maritime Collaborative Enterprise. It was announced by defence minister Philip Dunne.

He said: ‘Encouraging technological innovation to flourish is vital to our national security and our prosperity.

‘The contract is designed to maximise the reach of our science and technology funding, led by a team from BAE Systems, with numerous participants in the research, from large companies, to academia, to SMEs.’

The team at Broad Oak will be partly responsible for turning academic research and ideas into reality, including sensors which can be installed on the Royal Navy’s ships and be tested while out to sea.

BAE Systems Maritime – submarines combat systems director Ian Hawkes added: ‘This is a great opportunity for innovators to get involved, bringing their ideas and expertise to the maritime domain.’