The 1st April 2021, saw the second anniversary of Airbus managing the Land Systems Reference Centre (LSRC) for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The LSRC, a unique capability within Defence, is able to provide system test services to a wide customer base, including procurement teams, field units, innovation and experimentation teams and even commercial companies, with a MOD sponsor.
Continuous service for our customer throughout the pandemic
Despite the pandemic, the past 12 months have been a successful period for the LSRC as, like all businesses, the facility has had to adapt and introduce safety measures into its daily processes and operations. Ensuring that all staff and personnel have continued to work safely, has meant that the LSRC has continued to provide the cutting edge test facilities, support and specialist advice for deployed and base Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capabilities.
The LSRC has the capability to test applications and application upgrades on reference systems to assess the impact on both other applications and the network, as well as the impact the network has on the application.
Adrian Maul, the Head of Delivery at the LSRC said, “Despite the various challenges caused by the pandemic, the LSRC has continued to operate and support a total of 80 tasks throughout the past year, which included successfully supporting significant events such as Army Warfighter Experiment 2020 (AWE20) and Army Cyber Spartan 4 (ACS4).”
Ensuring continued Innovation and Collaboration
Recently the Airbus team has delivered a comprehensive new service model, which provides both advice and test services to ensure that the MOD networks are able to accommodate new applications, hardware and services. In addition, the Centre has also supported some 30 Joint Service Publication 604 Release and Assurance tasks, capturing the characteristics of new or updated capabilities confirming their suitability for use across defence networks.
Airbus continues to work collaboratively with Army HQ to develop and realise their long term strategy for the virtual test environment, thus ensuring the planned schedule of events for the LSRC over the coming months looks busier than ever and includes:
- Establishing an Innovation, Experimentation and Research capability; a service (MANNA) that can support innovation initiatives such as the annual AWE events.
- Supporting International interoperability initiatives, such as Joint Warfighter Assessment 2021 (JWA21) and Coalition Warrior Interoperability Exercise 2021 (CWIX21), both significant activities in the Defence Exercise Programme (DXP).
- The delivery of a suite of dedicated test tools to support a Pegasus Test Capability, which will aid in the assurance of changes to the strategic 5-Eyes communications systems.
- Introducing the next generation of deployable Communications and Information Systems (CIS) as native reference systems that LSRC customers can call upon.
- Supporting the delivery of UK OFFICIAL and SECRET Deployable CIS systems, hosting User Acceptance Tests (UAT) prior to a User Field Trial (UFT) of the capability.
About the LSRC contract with the UK MOD
In 2019, Airbus agreed a five-year contract with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to manage test and reference services to support the delivery and assured release of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capability for deployed operations around the globe. Located at Blandford Camp in Dorset, the Royal Corps of Signals’ headquarters, the LSRC provides the MOD with a through life ‘Systems of Systems’ Test and Reference service. It provides an appropriate test, integration and transition capability that assures release packages for introduction onto the Defence Network and in support of operations and exercises. The LSRC can provide support and specialist advice for deployed and base ICT capabilities throughout their lifecycle. The LSRC has the capability to test applications and application upgrades on reference systems to assess their impact on other applications and the network as well as the network’s impact on the application.