19 Sep 12. Building on the combat experience of the delivery of over 11,000 Q-Net™ rocket propelled grenade protection systems, QinetiQ has unveiled Q-Net™ II to the defence market.
QinetiQ announced that the high probability of defeat has been further increased in Q-Net™ II along with further weight reductions. This follows operational feedback and extensive testing of the upgrade. The latest system will deliver increased benefits to users in terms of both survivability and platform performance, particularly over bar armour solutions.
The patented Q-Net™ design consists of a net with embedded metal nodes supported on a lightweight frame that surrounds and stands off from the outside of the vehicle. The armour system defeats RPG threats by preventing detonation, with the nodes disrupting the fusing of the warhead. It provides multi-hit capability protection from all angles (360 degrees) including overhead if specified. On-going developments have led to improvements in the Q-Net™ design from that originally fielded.
The Q-Net™ II upgrade increases the probability of defeating the threat to a very high level and further reduces the system weight. The latest upgrade to the system is flexible and modular, featuring a patented hook-and-loop installation material that attaches the net to the frames. Frames can be made to collapse or fold if required during missions. Q-Net™ has been designed to maintain crew ingress/egress and access to externally fitted components such as fuel tank filler caps and storage bins. In addition, all round visibility is maintained whilst protecting the cockpit area, unlike other armour solutions.
Developed jointly by QinetiQ North America (QNA), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Q-Net™ system enhances the survivability of vehicle crews through effective protection against rocket propelled grenade strikes.
Q-Net™ is now on operational service with the US, French and Polish forces and a very strong contender for future contracts. QinetiQ conservatively estimates that over 32 million miles have been logged in Afghanistan on vehicles using Q-Net as their protection of choice against RPG.
Commenting on the success of QNA’s Q-Net, Bert Appleton of QinetiQ’s C4ISR Division, commented, “Because of the success of Q-Net™ in defeating the RPG threat in Afghanistan, we are in a very strong position to convince future customers of the real value of our solution. Soldiers need to know that the system being procured is proven in a real live fire situation and we are in the unique position of being able to deliver a system that has saved lives.”
“The design effort was extremely challenging, from a very aggressive vibrational envelope, to challenges in providing easy access to door handles, maintenance points on the vehicle and articulation of hatches and doors. In addition, the fielding schedule required QinetiQ to increase production deliveries to over 1000 kits per month, and sustain this rate until the order was fulfilled. QinetiQ accomplished the task on-time, on-budget and in the process developed significant experience in the design, analysis, testing, fabrication, fielding and logistical support of a large installed user base. Q-Net™ is a capability that has been operationally tested, is battle hardened and can be delivered to the front line very quickly.
“Q-Net™ was selected as the solution of choice by the US Department of Defense (DoD) for the Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected – All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) requirement for protection against in theatre RPG threats, with an initial order for 7,500 kits.”