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MoD and QinetiQ chooses TUV Product Service for Apache attack helicopter weapon trials

25 April 2006

Extreme examples of products failing to perform reliably in their intended operating environment often gain a high profile in the media. Consumer programmes frequently highlight these inadequacies. With the impending deployment of the UK’s latest Apache helicopters in Afghanistan, it s essential that critical items such as weapon systems perform as required in this most inhospitable environment.

TUV Product Service and their Dust Test partner Particle Technology Ltd were contracted by QinetiQ Group plc to design and build a facility to combine vibration testing with a blowing dust and sand environment.

This unique facility was constructed at the Particle Technology site and combined an electromagnetic shaker within a 42m³ driving and turbulent sand test chamber.

QinetiQ needed to respond to an urgent requirement to evaluate the effects of sand and dust on the CRV7 lightweight rocket launchers fitted to the Apache attack helicopter, the facility needed to be operational and testing completed before deployment of the Apache to Afghanistan began.

The TUV Product Service designed test rig was able to faithfully replicate the in-service vibration environment experienced by the launcher, while simultaneously being subjected to dust and sand, at air speeds over 100mph.

TUV Product Service Operations Director Dave Wilson said “The close cooperation between all parties involved enabled us to commission the facility and complete the trials two weeks before the intended deadline and on budget. This new facility is now available to those in industry who need to demonstrate compliance in these hostile combined environments.”

Commenting on the trial, Capt Goodby of JTEG QinetiQ said “Thanks to the close partnership between all parties involved, we managed to exceed the MoD’s expectations in completing the successful full trials program within tight time and budgetary constraints.”

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MinitecRegarl Rexnord