Combat Systems Engineer

Portsmouth, Hampshire
Closing date
13 Nov 2019
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QinetiQ comprises teams of dedicated people; experts in defence, aerospace, security and related markets. We draw on our extensive technical knowledge and intellectual property to provide the know-how and support to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.  Our people make the critical difference to customers by providing unique approaches to problem solving.  Why don’t you join some of the world’s finest scientific and technical minds and help us make tomorrow work today?


Job description/Person specification

QinetiQ plays a major role in the development and sustainment of naval combat systems for both the Royal Navy and overseas navies.  It acts variously as a customer friend, third party assessor, system integrator, and product supplier.

In its customer friend role it advises navies on:
• how combat systems should be developed, acquired and evolved
• in the test, evaluation and acceptance of combat systems and their constituent equipment
• the identification and rectification of defects such as those encountered during operational service.

Through its provision of live and synthetic test and evaluation facilities and capabilities, QinetiQ supports the test and evaluation of warship combat systems including determination of performance against current and anticipated threats.

In its systems integrator role QinetiQ devises solutions addressing combat systems problems such as concern capability shortfall or technology obsolescence.  An overall systems solution is devised typically from a combination of bought-in and newbuild elements and integrated into a cohesive whole meeting the defined need.

QinetiQ is also a supplier of niche products into combat systems including elements of operational systems and system monitoring and test equipment.  Such products are fully engineered and meet stringent quality requirements.  Several of them have been developed from earlier proof of concept demonstrators and, in turn, more fundamental research and development (R&D).

Systems engineering services are employed to undertake these various roles including the delivery of integrated systems and products.  These services cover the entire system life cycle from capability management and requirements engineering through to system in-service support and ultimately disposal.  A mixture of international standards (e.g. ISO 15288), naval standards (e.g. Def Stan 21-88), and industrial and domain-specific practices is employed in conjunction with knowledge of combat systems, equipment and their engineering.

The Naval Combat System Integration Support Service (NCSISS) is a major customer friend role delivered collaboratively by QinetiQ with an industrial partner primarily from the Portsdown Technology Park (PTP) and supporting DE&S Abbey Wood.  It supports much of the RN surface fleet.  NCSISS delivers the necessary integration, test, evaluation, and acceptance activities across all phases of the equipment lifecycle to support the development and delivery of operationally effective and safe Combat System (CS) capability.  It enables MOD and industry to make informed decisions based on objective, credible evidence that is generated by experts in an environment which is free from supply chain conflict of interest.

Whilst centred at PTP, QinetiQ’s NCSISS capability is supported by further staff based at its Bristol site, which is close to DE&S Abbey Wood, and by certain other specialist staff at its other sites.  PTP hosts various facilities which are fully representative of key RN naval Combat Systems and their constituent equipment and which allow defect resolution, design support, integration, test and evaluation, acceptance and interoperability activities to be undertaken.

NCSISS is delivered through unique capabilities and enablers including:
• A team of domain specialist Combat Systems Engineers (CSE) who:
o Undertake critical engineering lifecycle activities including design support, integration, test, evaluation and acceptance;
o Provide impartial and independent advice and guidance to Equipment Authorities, their suppliers, and the MOD customer;
o Seek more cost-effective means to perform equipment integration and enable the CS Design Authority function to be discharged with acceptable residual risk and with equipment suppliers held to account;
• A fleet-wide architecting, standards and configuration control service (Architecture, Standards, Policies and Information Authority (ASPIA)) which performs a crucial role in CS design and sustainability through-life;
• Comprehensive and flexible shore integration facilities with the infrastructure and management control regimes necessary to enable government-furnished Combat Systems equipment to be operated, maintained and upgraded ashore in a safe, secure and configuration-controlled manner;
• Synthetic Test Environments (STE) necessary to provide real-time, co-ordinated synthetic stimuli to the CS equipment so that they may be tested and integrated in high load, complex and repeatable scenarios not affordable or achievable in peace-time conditions;
• Tools, analysis equipment and techniques to support the role of the CSE.

Through its Bristol office QinetiQ delivers a customer friend role in support of DE&S for the Type 26 ASW Frigate and, in the future, other platforms such as the Type 31e Frigate.  It provides the necessary CS engineering advice and other services potentially covering the entire system life cycle from capability management and requirements engineering through to system in-service support and ultimately disposal.  Work is currently focussed on supporting the acquisition and design of the warships’ combat systems.
In addition to the NCSISS contract, QinetiQ undertakes an increasing range of other activities including R&D, demonstration, range provision, and product supply. A significant example in which QinetiQ has provided major contributions is the Formidable Shield 19 Maritime Ballistic Missile Defence exercise.  Here QinetiQ facilitated trials planning and the hosting of participants; the provision of the safety case to the cleared and instrumented danger areas; and the development and testing of jamming and seeker payloads to the provision of targets and support of live engagements.

An example of a major maritime demonstration led by QinetiQ is Unmanned Warrior 2016 in which QinetiQ provided not only range facilities, planning and hosting, but also coordinated the experimentation and demonstration of numerous unmanned vehicles in the air, surface and underwater domains.  It was the largest ever event of its type and QinetiQ is continuing to develop capabilities including niche products to realise such important areas of future maritime capability.  One such product QinetiQ is developing for the maritime systems marketplace is Pointer.  This can be used in support of Operational Sea Training for the evaluation of gunnery systems and also as a cueing aid for operational systems.  It is currently being developed into a production system with prototype systems already being deployed.

A range of systems engineering opportunities exists in QinetiQ at this level and within the naval combat systems business area.  These exist to address customer- and supply-side activities.  Typical roles comprise:
• Systems engineer combat systems advice
• Systems engineer Geospatial & Temporal Referencing (G&TR)
• Systems engineer naval sonar systems
• Systems engineer naval command systems
• Systems engineer data links
• Systems engineer command support systems

Key accountabilities for these roles:
• Application of systems engineering approach and execution of key systems engineering activities with limited supervision
• Engaging with customers, other stakeholders, and suppliers on specific technical matters
• Working as part of a technical team in support of project objectives
• Identifying, engaging with, and satisfying internal and external stakeholder communities
• Eliciting requirements, understanding them, and addressing their satisfaction
• Scheming overall system solutions in satisfaction of requirements and constraints
• Addressing integration, verification and validation and transition into operational service
• Identifying and addressing through-life (e.g. support) considerations
• Provides support to decision management
• Produces technical documentation in support of work carried out
• Delivers work and reports on progress to more senior technical and project staff
• Escalates significant problems and issues encountered with senior staff
• Plans and structures own work under direction of project leads

Experience and qualifications for these roles:
• Degree Level qualification or equivalent
• IEng or equivalent
• Relevant experience in systems engineering or engineering
Particular skills/experience across several of the following:
• Knowledge of naval combat systems and their systems engineering
• Understanding of MOD surface ship (and combat systems) acquisition policy and programmatics
• Ability to manage GFI delivery and its conformance with MOD requirements and acquisition policy
• Good overall knowledge of several RN surface ship combat systems and their engineering issues and policies
• Knowledge of Def Stan 21-88 integration practices
• Knowledge of UK surface warship navigation equipment such as nav radars, ship’s compasses, ship’s logs, Global Positioning System, inertial navigation systems etc.
• Knowledge of RN warship navigation
• Knowledge of G&TR issues within key combat systems equipment such as sensors and weapons
• Knowledge of navigation, geospatial referencing (position, velocity, attitude etc.), temporal referencing (time stamping, time of validity etc.) and related accuracies and error measures
• Knowledge of navigation and G&TR-related messages used on naval platforms e.g. NMEA
• Experience in addressing navigation- and G&TR-related integration issues within combat systems
• Understanding of G&TR accuracies and errors, their sources, trends over time, propagation through systems, and impact e.g. on position and attitude
• Knowledge of UK surface warship sonar equipment such as bow sonars (e.g. S2050), towed array sonars (active, passive – e.g. S2087), and mine detection sonars (MCMVs – e.g. S2093/S2193)
• Knowledge of anti-submarine warfare (and naval mine countermeasures)
• Knowledge of acoustic propagation in water
• Knowledge of sonar equipment-related messages within combat systems
• Experience in addressing sonar equipment-related integration issues within combat systems
• Knowledge of naval data links such as Links 11, 16, 22, Satellite Data Links
• Knowledge of platform interoperability in the naval environment
• Knowledge of UK surface warship naval command systems e.g. Outfit DNA(2), CMS1, NAUTIS (desirable), ORCA (desirable)
• Knowledge of RN warship and related command support systems and infrastructure (e.g. RN CSS, JOCS, CENTRIXS, DII, NSOIT)
• Knowledge of RN warship command and control, including command situational awareness, planning, decision aids etc.
• Knowledge of command and control-related issues within combat systems e.g. hard kill/soft kill coordination, opening up of command system architectures and messages, use of shared infrastructure
• Knowledge of combat management system-related messages used on naval platforms
• Experience in addressing command system-related integration issues within combat systems

Project deployment and clearance:
• SC clearance required
• For certain roles we are looking for individuals who are willing and able to work predominantly at Portsdown.  For other roles we are looking for individuals who are willing and able to work predominately at Bristol.  In both cases an ability and willingness to travel to other locations in the UK and abroad is required.
• For certain roles we are looking for individuals to support external supplier testing (including at supplier premises) and trials (including sea platform embarkation).

QinetiQ offers an excellent salary and benefits package commensurate with a large international company some of which are highlighted below:
• Career development across a diverse International organisation
• 50% off meals at selected restaurants, 40% off cinema tickets
• Modern and collaborative working environment
• Pension - up to 10.5 % Company contribution
• Flexible Working , Social and family events
• Health Cash Plan, Health Screening, Employee Assistance 24/7
• Leading edge technology focus
• Private Medical Insurance and Dental Insurance at additional cost
• Childcare or After School Club , Annual Leave Purchase
• Personal Accident Insurance , Annual Travel Insurance
• Gym and sports facilities available at larger sites
• Payroll Giving and Volunteering - helping charities and local comm

QinetiQ is a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defence, security and aerospace markets. We work in partnership with our customers to solve real-world problems through innovative solutions, delivering operational and competitive advantage.

Working at QinetiQ

Our customers face challenges that define the modern world, covering military, commercial and government institutions. As a company of scientists and engineers, we are committed to anticipating, understanding and responding to those challenges. We draw on our depth of experience, unique expertise and the ingenuity of our people to develop powerful solutions.

Working at QinetiQ is more than just a job - many of the projects you will work on are of national importance. Everything we do is focused on defending sovereign capability, protecting lives and securing the vital interests of our customers.

As our company grows into new markets around the world, it is an exciting time to join QinetiQ.

Our people

Our people make the critical difference to customers by providing unique, often unexpected approaches to problem solving. The diversity of our teams drives innovation across the company, helping to save lives, protect assets and critical infrastructure, and ensure competitive advantage for our customers.

Life at QinetiQ

We encourage our people to think and do things differently. Our matrix structure enables employees to work across different areas of the business, learning from some of the finest technical and scientific minds in the world.

We offer flexible working hours to promote a positive work-life balance and offer a wide range of rewards and benefits. We encourage teams to get involved in our volunteer programmes that help the local communities.

QinetiQ has a global footprint with offices located in the UK, Canada, America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East.


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