Nova Systems and QinetiQ Australia are in the running for the US-based award after building capabilities for use within the RAAF’s P-8A Poseidon.
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The team, led by US-based Life Support International, developed new UNI-PAC III water-activated containers that were delivered to the RAAF in August, as well as the US Navy.
A QinetiQ spokesperson confirmed that the containers are able to be dropped from a P-8A Poseidon's weapons bay across an array of speeds and altitudes.
Once deployed, the containers release a life craft sized to fit 20 people with survival aids.
“This four-plus year program has delivered unparalleled capability for the P-8A Poseidon, now being used by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Australian Defence Force as they patrol a region spanning about 10 per cent of the globe,” QinetiQ Australia managing director Greg Barsby said.
The project saw the team nominated for the SAFE 2021 Team Achievement Award, with the ceremony to be held in early November at the 59th Annual SAFE Symposium in Mobile, Alabama.
“There was also the unlikely scenario of a truck carrying assets needed to support an Australian test program crashing into a swamp in Illinois and the impact of COVID-19 on system integration, delivery, inspection and shipping,” Barsby said.
A spokesperson from QinetiQ explained that the management of kit acquisition was transitioned to the team as part of a Major Service Provider contract when surveillance and response assumed responsibility of the P-8A Poseidon.
[Related: QinetiQ appoints new GM business development]