The 1st April 2022 marks the third anniversary of Airbus managing the Land Systems Reference Centre (LSRC) for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). The contract, which is to manage test and reference services for deployed operations is now 3 years into its 5-year duration. Over this time, the Airbus Team have received over 235 operational tasking requests across a diverse customer base, including Capability Delivery Organisations, from Strategic Command, the three front line commands (Army, Navy and Air) and even directly from Industry.
Continual service for our customers to ensure satisfaction
For 24 of the last 36 months the world has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Regardless, the LSRC has continued to receive approximately 80 operational tasks each year. To ensure customer satisfaction, and to capture potential improvements, feedback is always sought from our customers. To date this feedback has been positive with a satisfaction response that has averaged more than 98%, a fantastic statistic for a service delivered to such a wide customer base.
This level of satisfaction might only be achieved through Suitably Qualified and Experienced Personnel working within an effective Quality Management System, both of which reside a the LSRC. As a test house high levels of quality and assurance is crucial and the LSRC’s approach is to aim for high fidelity when it comes to test rigour, as exhibited by the outcomes of the Centre’s ISO9001/2015 surveillance visits, the latest of which provided a completely clean bill of health, with no non-compliances seen for the third year running.
Wide and diverse service operations to support defence exercises
The LSRC’s Service Requests over the last year has been as wide and diverse as ever. We continue to include International Interoperability in our portfolio of support, remotely taking part in Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXploration, eXperimentation, eXamination eXercise 2021 (CWIX21) and the Joint Warfighter Assessment 2021 (JWA21). In the experimentation space we have supported two Army Warfighting Experiments (AWE), Exercise Dynamic Warrior that focused on simulated training, and Urban Understand, an exercise to establishing the network requirements for future AWE activities. We have supported Cyber Training with Exercise Cyber Coalition 21 and Defence Cyber Marvel. Characterisation has also been a recurring theme, with concept testing for telemedicine prior to Exercise CHIRON CERTIIFY and a host of Joint Service Publication 604 (JSP604) release and assurance tasks.
Our customer base over the last twelve months has also been as rich as ever. We continue to support application testing from both Defence Digital (DD) and the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation. This has included applications such as MyHR, a Human Resources tool, and Project SCEPTRE, the new Mission Management application for the Typhoon airframe. We have also supported testing on RAVEN, a communications system developed by AIR, demonstrating that the LSRC’s support isn’t limited as its name suggest, LSRC support can be much further reaching.
How is all of this be achieved? How dedicated team and tools support Land Systems Reference Centre?
The LSRC construct is about providing the real estate to support test activities and the reference equipment needed to test against. It provides the connectivity to link systems both locally and over dispersed test sites and the tools needed to instrument test environments. Most importantly the experienced test and support staff needed to define requirements, plan, implement and conduct testing, to analyse data and to produce test reports. The LSRC contract provides this service through Airbus and Capgemini staff, supporting independent testing, regardless of the company providing the system under test.
While the staff are unquestionably the brains behind the LSRC’s success, the LSRC’s test tools might be considered the beating heart of the capability. In the last year an update to the network monitoring tools has been delivered, futureproofing network monitoring for the foreseeable future. Together with the network emulation, stimulation and analytical applications, these network monitoring tools allow traffic exchanges to be captured, and the results contextualised for our customers. A new suite of tools has also been provided for the Pegasus Test Capability, ensuring that the capability is afforded with tools, including automation tools, on a dedicated basis.
Successful delivery supporting our MOD and Defence clients
Adrian Maul, the LSRC Head of Delivery for Airbus said “The Covid pandemic has continued to affect the whole world throughout our 3rd year of running the Centre and I am proud to say that we have not allowed it to affect our service delivery having an extremely successful year supporting our MOD and Defence clients. We have delivered more than 80 tasks over the past year, including deploying to Salisbury Plain to support Army Warfighting Experiment 2021 (AWE21); as well as introducing the new MANNA Exercise Support Network capability within the LSRC to more effectively support this type of deployed activity. Of course success cannot be achieved without the hard work and dedication of the team that is delivering it, and I have been humbled at the way that the LSRC team have all pulled together and supported one another during these difficult times to enable this to happen”.