System Design Evaluation Ltd has delivered the final element of their contract to support the TALISMAN Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) project for Protected Mobility Vehicles Programme (PMVP).

SDE commenced support in January 2015 following award of a competitive tender.

TALISMAN is a suite of capabilities mounted across a range of vehicle platforms that was delivered under Urgent Operational Requirements (UOR) procedures to provide a Route Proving and Clearance (RP&C) capability for British forces in Afghanistan. TALISMAN has since been taken into the core equipment programme and TALISMAN MLU is seeking to deliver a range of additional capabilities to meet future threats.

Steve Mannings, SDEs Project Manager for TALISMAN MLU, said: “TALISMAN MLU was a fantastic programme to have supported. The introduction of the capability in Afghanistan reduced explosive ordnance attacks against Combat Logistics Patrols and unquestionably saved lives. To have the opportunity to support the continuation of that capability was something that the SDE team absolutely relished”.

As part of the support, SDE was tasked to develop a TALISMAN Concept of Employment (CONEMP) and Concept of Use (CONUSE) to focus on wider employment of the capability to support future operations. Development of the CONEMP and CONUSE built upon existing documentation produced for operations in Afghanistan, but refocused on the types of missions TALISMAN may be called upon to support in the future.  SDE assembled a project team with a range of experience of capability management, doctrine development and direct user experience to develop the outputs. The SDE team engaged regularly with the TALISMAN user and capability managers to develop robust documentation which linked to future force structures and Defence Strategic Guidance.

Under the MLU, a series of equipment capability enhancements will be sought and to support this, SDE authored an overarching User Requirements Document (URD) and System Requirements Documents (SRD) for two of the component elements. SDE drew together stakeholders to validate the extant UOR Requirements before developing a first-principles URD for TALISMAN MLU. This approach allowed SDE to adopt a Systems Engineering approach unconstrained by the legacy equipment, but which allowed enduring requirements to be reflected within the emerging requirements set. SDE managed a series of Requirements Working Groups involving stakeholders from DE&S, Capability Directorates, DSTL and the user community, to develop a coherent document set which reflected user needs and linked back to supporting documentation.

As part of the Statement of Work, DE&S required a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) Scoping study to identify potential changes and opportunities with the introduction of MLU. In order to deliver this, SDE partnered with Explosives Learning Solutions (ELS) who provided the necessary depth and expertise to deliver the TNA review. By partnering with ELS, SDE were able to ensure DE&S received appropriate levels of subject matter expertise to deliver this element of the contract.

Steve Mannings said: “Partnering with ELS was an important part of our offer. Although SDE has been involved with training delivery and design over the years, ELS brought specific depth and expertise in the area and were able to engage effectively and efficiently with stakeholders across the Training Line of Development. ELS were able to bring experience from a range of other projects which ensured they could identify issues for MLU to consider early in the process. Smart partnering of this kind is vital for any Small or Medium Enterprise and is something SDE is extremely happy to do, especially with partners as reliable and competent as ELS.”

The final deliverable under the contract has been consideration of the various options that may form the TALISMAN MLU and development of a review paper to prioritise them for DE&S. SDE developed a series of options for consideration and with SME input and engagement with stakeholders, analysed each based upon benefits to operational capability, costs (both acquisition and whole life) and time based on Technology Readiness Levels. The final report has been well received by the stakeholder community and will assist in shaping thought processes as the MLU progresses.

Mannings concluded: “The entire team has enjoyed working with PMVP in delivering these outputs for TALISMAN MLU. Throughout the process, we have been incredibly well supported by the PMVP team and have formed a collaborative working relationship with the wider stakeholder community over our 11 months of involvement. The team we assembled to deliver the project have demonstrated high levels of professionalism and credible expertise across a range of diverse products. We were delighted to have won the competitive bid process and now feel justifiably proud of the outputs we have delivered to support such an important capability.”

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