15 Jun 2017
Collaboration to include laser development, automation, manufacturing and simulation for defense applications.University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, has signed a strategic framework agreement with multinational defense, security and aerospace company BAE Systems, to “strengthen a long-term relationship in research, education and consultancy”.
In the announcement of the arrangement, Strathclyde stated, “Collaboration is likely to include the development of lasers, intelligent automation systems, rapid integration and manufacturing, design simulation, energy and power management and meeting environmental challenges.”
Strathclyde is one of only five selected universities in the UK to have so far signed such an agreement, after BAE Systems announced that in the future it is to focus on building partnerships with a smaller number of universities that shared expertise in particular areas of future capability.
Paul Feely, Engineering Director at BAE Systems Naval Ships, said, “This partnership builds on our existing working relationships to extend our collaboration, boosting the UK’s defence industrial skills base and supporting the next generation of engineers and scientists. The technologies and approaches that we will work on together will give our customers an essential edge in protecting their nations.”
Professor Alex Duffy, Head of Strathclyde’s Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management, said, “Strathclyde thrives on productive industrial partnerships. BAE Systems is one of the companies we work closely with to produce impactful results. This arrangement is in keeping with our collaborative approach to research and education and will accelerate our delivery of solutions to global challenges.”
The collaboration forms part of the BAE Systems’ overarching Skills 2020 strategy, which aims to nurture the skills required for the company to remain competitive and operate successfully over the current decade and beyond.
The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $180.5 million contract to continue producing Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWSTM) laser-guided rockets to meet the growing U.S. and international demand for the systems.
APKWS rockets are seeing increasing use in theater because they deliver cost-effective precision strikes with reduced potential for collateral damage. The latest order, which is funded under the recently-announced “indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity” contract, will help BAE Systems to meet increased demand.
Rachel Guill, director of Precision Guidance Solutions at BAE Systems, commented, “We’re delivering ahead of schedule even with the growing demand. Our APKWS rockets are critical to the mission success of our U.S. government and allied nation customers.”
APKWS laser-guided rockets allow military forces to leverage existing munitions and weapons systems investments with minimal effort and training, stated BAE’s announcement. “The APKWS mid-body guidance kit transforms standard unguided Hydra 70 (2.75-inch) rockets into highly accurate precision munitions by easily screwing into place between the warhead and the motor.”