MBDA and UTC Aerospace Systems have initiated a pioneering development programme of an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for a multitude of programmes within, and potentially beyond, MBDA’s current Complex Weapons (CW) Portfolio. This is being achieved with a focus on Value for Money (VfM) through Modularity and Reuse (M&R) at all levels of a missile system.
To help facilitate a successful programme, MBDA and UTC Aerospace Systems are transforming the way they work together with a joint desire to move towards a much closer, more collaborative business relationship.
IMUs, which are a critical element of the missile’s guidance, navigation and control functions, have traditionally been based on a number of differing technologies including high cost fibre-optics. UTC Aerospace Systems, which is the Design Authority, will use Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)-based IMUs, through investment in their operationally-proven MEMS sensor technology. One outcome will be a high performance IMU that meets the MBDA performance requirements but is smaller, more versatile and offers unparalleled value for money when compared to traditional technologies.
This high performance IMU is being developed to be backwards compatible with one of existing UTC Aerospace Systems MEMS IMUs. This allows its adoption within multiple programmes whilst providing a form and fit interchangeable system upgrade opportunity for scenarios that require increased range and performance.
Steve Wadey, MBDA Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director UK commented, “This demonstrates MBDA’s commitment to the Team CW philosophy by delivering innovative solutions and long term value for money. It is being achieved by improving our way of working with strategic suppliers and harvesting the benefits from Commercial and Military Off The Shelf (COTS and MOTS) products in our systems.”
Kevin Pindard, Managing Director at UTC Aerospace Systems said “At Plymouth, we are delighted to be working closely with MBDA to take our operationally proven UK sovereign MEMS IMU capability and develop that into the next generation of IMUs for use across civil and defence aerospace applications.”