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U.K. Military Continues to Buy Qinetiq’s Support

Qinetiq is a British company that was formed several years ago when the U.K. privatized parts of their Research, Test, Development & Engineering (RDT&E) support structure. This included labs, ranges and the employees who had formally been civil servants. Over the last 2 decades the British governments have been very aggressive about converting formally government positions and roles to private companies with a goal of cost savings. This was the opposite policy of the U.S. which had tried converting contractor positions to government ones in the past with the same goal.

Qinetiq due to the fact that it provides fairly critical services to the U.K. military through the testing & evaluation (T&E) services it provide signed a 25 year contract in 2003. This had a predicted value of over $8 billion if all parts were fully executed.

Now the U.K. government has announced that the last 5 year option has been executed. This option is worth about $1.6 billion.

These types of arrangements are not unheard of in other countries and the U.S. relies on contractors to provide many of the services Qinetiq does to the U.K. military. It is just they don’t normally transfer title of the facilities and management to the contractors. Often equivalent U.S. test ranges have contractors doing most of the work under oversight of the U.S. government.

In 2010 the company underwent a shake up in management as well as a re-organization. Qinetiq had expanded its business interests beyond the U.K. including work in America. Some problems caused the CEO to resign and the company to refocus on their core, original purpose.

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