Military equipment testing, training and evaluation sites are set to get a £1.3bn boost, the Defence Secretary has announced…

The funding injection is part of the existing £5.6bn deal with defence supplier QinetiQ, which trials and tests everything from missile systems to underwater sensors and night vision capabilities. The funding will support the employment of around 1,800 people across 16 MOD-owned testing sites through the Long Term Partnering Agreement with QinetiQ.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Ensuring our cutting-edge equipment is tried and tested before it is sent to the frontline is crucial to our military’s capability. This £1.3bn investment will not only guarantee our Armed Forces’ have the reliable, state-of-the-art weaponry they need, but will also support jobs across the nation.”

The £1.3bn boost, which will also deliver £85m of savings and modernises the contract mechanics, will ensure essential test and evaluation services for many of the MOD’s high-profile programmes continue to be supported until March 2028. Those programmes include the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers and the Dreadnought submarines.

As well as the funding injection, QinetiQ and the MOD have agreed a portfolio of investments, worth £190m, to improve capability resilience and to ensure that the Test and Evaluation sites around the country, including MOD Pendine in Wales, MOD British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre in Scotland, and MOD Boscombe Down in England, remain fully operational.