WSA&E develops world class product solutions in the areas of Command & Control (C2), Mission Control (MC), Mission Planning (MP), and Network-Enabled Capability (NEC). Our main skills lie in the areas of systems architecture and design, experimentation, synthetic environments and human factors. WSA&E engineers ensure that the delivery of its products meet and exceed the requirements in terms of performance, quality, budget and timescale.
MBDA has been developing mission planning systems for many years and has accumulated a vast wealth of knowledge and experience. Our engineers design the system, in conjunction with the missile design team, and derive the system requirements for the mission planning software. They liaise with the software teams who undertake the detailed software design and develop the software code. They also support the final acceptance for the new products. During the design and development phases, close involvement with customer and end-users ensures that the final software solution matches their concept of operations and is easy to understand and use.
Command and Control
C2 products are large software products that are characterised by their size and the complexity arising from their logical functional flows and data management systems. Our system designers must therefore have a broad understanding of software design processes and architectures, complex algorithms, system logic, safety, security, operator viewpoints and operational context. They must work with conventional system engineering, software designers, model developers, synthetic environment and human factors specialists.
Synthetic Environments (SE) is the capability to link together models, simulations and real equipment to support the weapon system development and to explore the capabilities of current and future systems. The use of SE can range from concepts studies employing relatively low fidelity models, to experiments incorporating real equipment and military personal across a number of sites exploring NEC options.
Experimentation and System Integration
We have brought together all our system facilities in a virtually-connected single capability, accommodating a wide range of weapon system types, making sure integration expertise is readily available to solve particular development and in-service problems. Our Experimentation and System Integration capability has been designed to match and understand demands, both now and in a rapidly advancing network connected future
Weapon System Equipment
Innovative architectures based on hardware elements enable us to achieve ou rweapon system’s requirements in terms of performance, modularity and reuse. This approach allows for a very rapid prototyping of future systems and has been successful in the design of our Firing Units. To support this work we are developing key Weapon System equipment policies that will maximise our efficiency. These solutions will then be applied to the design of other hardware domains such as shelters, data links etc.
The human component is a vital part of any defence capability. Human Factors Engineering ensures that systems and equipment designs match User requirements. Human Factors is integrated within Systems Engineering, to provide essential User input early and throughout a product’s life cycle, across all Lines of Development. MBDA UK’s experience covers the design and evaluation of systems (from small man-portable components to complete platforms) across a range of military applications.
Missile Architecture & Equipment (MAE) is responsible for defining the physical requirements (e.g. electrical, mechanical) of a missile for a diverse range of land, sea and air weapon systems.
We provide unparalleled capability using the skill of our engineers who provide the innovative ideas that can be modelled, simulated and then tested in a variety of environmental conditions. MAE is the home of MBDA’s Missile Chief Design Engineers (CDE’s) responsible for the design and development of the physical aspects of a missile; defining a global physical architecture and establishing a set of subsystem technical requirement specifications.
MBDA has a world-class capability in airframe design, and in all aspects of predicting and measuring the aerodynamics of guided weapons.
Experience is not readily transferable from other domains - such as aircraft - and MBDA is one of the few European companies with a core of experts that covers the full operating domain. This is supported with investment in novel airframe design, multi-disciplinary optimisation and rapid analysis methods.
The propulsion technology skill area is fundamental in determining the performance characteristics of a missile system. MBDA has a unique capability and skill in defining and integrating propulsion systems for missiles. This skill is vital in ensuring that future missile systems can match the increasingly demanding battlefield requirements for longer range, higher velocity, longer flight times and greater manoeuvrability against time critical targets.
Lethality & warheads
MBDA has the Design Authority responsibility for many warheads and its expertise supports the whole product life cycle from the development of concept warhead solutions, through development and qualification, to life extension of in-service warheads. Supporting skills include expertise in the characteristics of explosives, and the planning and conduct of safe trials.
MBDA have extensive experience of warhead trials and in the complex safety procedures of trials.
Sensors are key components of MBDA products encompassing the seekers and instrumentation sensors for guided weapon systems. Sensors include Radio Frequency (RF) and Electo Optical (EO) sensors, Inertial Navigation (IN) Sensors and Radio Navigation by Satellites (RNS). Additionally RF data links provide the necessary command and control capability for our weapon systems. This skill area underpins weapon system design both in terms of supporting existing development programmes and incorporating new technology advances into future products.
Environmental Engineering reproduces the natural and induced environmental conditions that a product may encounter during its service life. Our engineers evaluate, by test or assessment, the effects of these environments on the performance of the product against the level of performance required by the customer.
The Missile Dynamics function provides a world class capability in the design, development and integration of robust Guidance and Control algorithms and Image Processing and Navigational systems for a wide variety of high performance complex weapon applications in high precision guided weapons minimising collateral damage and maximising strike efficiency.
Missile Dynamics has the best-in-class systems and hardware testing facilities across Europe which deliver high integrity systems, at lower cost, with a reduced need for firing trials and their associated costs.
Missile Dynamics have world class modelling capabilities that ensure the development of trusted models, representing the entire weapon life cycle, de-risking selected solutions and providing substantial cost benefits to the market.
Guidance, Control & Navigation:
Our specialists support the development of system element specifications in respect of key performance drivers for missile aerodynamics, seekers, propulsion units, fin actuators, altimeters and inertial measurement units (IMUs) throughout the product lifecycle from concept to demonstration. These system elements must perform together, in harmony, to achieve an overall system capability without placing unrealistic demands on any one element. Preliminary designs for the mid-course and terminal guidance laws and the autopilot give way to detailed trade-off simulation studies, eventually yielding the optimised detailed design of G&C algorithms into flight software.
We design, develop and integrate navigation systems, using single or multiple sensors, for missiles with ranges from a few hundred metres to several hundred kilometres.
Advanced Navigation Techniques is a specialist core competency, where research studies and algorithm development for new and existing weapon systems are conducted by a team of highly experienced engineers. These capabilities have been established over many years with significant help from collaborative efforts with our external customers.
Image Processing algorithm design is a skill that promotes the integration of image sensor data into a guided weapon to achieve system level performance. MBDA has shown that by considering Image Processing technologies as part of the complete processing chain it is possible to deliver enhanced capability for existing and future systems.
Hardware in the Loop:
Hardware-in-the-Loop (HWIL) simulation is a technique to provide an effective platform for developing and testing real-time embedded systems
The Hardware-in-the-Loop team in MBDA has experience in the development and delivery of HWIL simulations. This capability enables MBDA to construct and use a range of complex simulations of modern weapon systems, employing Infra-red (IR) or radio-frequency (RF) sensors to analyse their performance against targets and countermeasures in both the infrared and radio wavebands.
Simulation & Modelling:
Mathematical modelling is the capability to produce a mathematical representation of the characteristics of a real-world system or situation. Mathematical models are executed in a computer to simulate predictions of future system behaviour under a variety of different conditions.
MBDA’s simulation and modelling capability combines a wealth of multi-project and multinational engineering experience, alongside skilled technical capabilities. Our engineers have adopted a proven, disciplined, software engineering approach to produce trusted, robust simulation models that provide data in support of international weapons system programmes. This capability is continuously improved through a multi-national research programme.
MBDA’s extensive portfolio of missile systems and supporting products rely for their functionality on the software within their processing subsystems.
To fulfil these wide-ranging needs MBDA, the Software Engineering & Technologies function (SET) continually develops and maintains a world-class capability in software engineering and its attendant technologies, tools and processes, and is able to demonstrate exceptional levels of skill and competency in a stream of very successful software-intensive products for Ground, Air and Ship-borne missile systems, delivered to customers throughout the world.
SET has developed, acquired and mastered a significant array of technological advances related to the development of software, and is thus highly proficient in all aspects of software engineering that can be used to innovate, develop and support modern missile systems.
The SET organisation drives the development and enhancement of our future software systems engineering capability so that we can support the company in meeting the future product developments in accordance with the company business.
Systems Engineering is fundamental to MBDA’s ability to design, develop and integrate weapon systems. Our systems design teams have a proven track record in understanding and designing complex weapon systems to meet demanding customer needs. We pride ourselves in the quality of the solutions we deliver, in an environment where continuous development of expertise is paramount.
SD&V promotes technical excellence and best practice within the Company's project teams, continuously capturing knowledge and experience and improving capabilities to develop systems more quickly and more efficiently whilst meeting the most demanding requirements.
Our System Design engineers are fundamental to the development activities of our systems from analysis of the customer needs to the certification of the products, activities which can be best depicted by separating the design and validation stages.
A wealth of experience supports MBDA’s capability for designing complex systems. Our world class defence products cover all segments of the missile industry in terms both of platforms and targets (Ground and Naval Based Defence, Air-to-Air, Precision Strike, Anti-Tank and airborne countermeasure systems).
Integration and Systems Validation
Integration and Systems Validation includes trials planning and conduct, support equipment, weapon and countermeasure systems integration; and platform integration of MBDA’s products with air, land and naval platforms.
MBDA has a demonstrably proven ability to provide a complete integration and systems proving capability throughout the entire project life-cycle, meeting the needs of legacy, current and future weapon systems and technologies. This capability is firmly in the knowledge, expertise and flexibility of approach of its people, processes and tools.
Safety & Dependability
Safety & dependability (S&D) provide specialist functional support in the areas of safety, reliability and information security to assist project teams in the management of these technical risks.
Our specialist engineers and technical experts are either seconded to project teams or operate on a consultancy basis, depending upon the project stage and need.
Engineering and Seekers
The Engineering & Seekers Directorate is responsible for the preparation for the future by defining and implementing strategies for innovation, technology planning and internal research and development investment, and directly managing all internal research and development funding.
MBDA maintains world class capability in seeker design and integration skills, underpinning its position as a world class weapon system supplier. Continued research and prototyping of vital and new technologies ensures that MBDA is well placed to be able to bring cost effective solutions to all its products. Whether for capability growth or for new systems, the skills, associated facilities and depth of product knowledge represent a valuable asset for future operational capability
The Future Systems Directorate is responsible for preparing for the future by designing future concepts and systems to meet our Customer’s future military capability requirements. The Future Systems Directorate also manages programmes through the Concept and Assessment phases of the product life cycle to achieve a smooth transition into the Programmes Directorate.
Capability Analysis is MBDA’s vital link between the User and the System Designer. MBDA needs to understand and analyse User requirements and capability gaps to develop operationally viable and cost effective system concepts and product improvements. As the prime focus for identifying the real User needs, Capability Analysis is closely linked to Human Factors, Synthetic Environments and Experimentation.
Capability Analysis shapes solutions through vital liaison with Customer military experts. Since a weapon system used with the wrong tactics won’t be fully effective it is vital that tactics are determined at an early stage. MBDA has extensive experience in this area, supported by a battle modelling toolset and man-in-the-loop simulations.
The Industrial Policy & Supply Chain Directorate is responsible for leading the definition and implementation of a Supply Chain Architecture with the support of other Directorates achieving alignment with industrial strategies of the national MoDs. It is also responsible for leading the definition and implementation of Industrial Policy for main Equipment domains, with the support of other Directorates.