Combat Systems Engineer

Portsmouth, United Kingdom (UK), QinetiQ [11877]

Field(s) of expertise
Software Engineering Electronics Engineering
Job type

About this job

QinetiQ comprises teams of dedicated people; experts in defence, aerospace, security and related markets. We draw on our extensive technical knowledge and intellectual property to provide the know-how and support to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.  Our people make the critical difference to customers by providing unique approaches to problem solving.  Why don’t you join some of the world’s finest scientific and technical minds and help us make tomorrow work today?

QinetiQ plays a major role in the development and sustainment of naval combat systems for both the Royal Navy and overseas navies.  It acts variously as a customer friend, third party assessor, system integrator, and product supplier.

In its customer friend role it advises navies on:

  • how combat systems should be developed, acquired and evolved
  • in the test, evaluation and acceptance of combat systems and their constituent equipment
  • the identification and rectification of defects such as those encountered during operational service.

Through its provision of live and synthetic test and evaluation facilities and capabilities, QinetiQ supports the integration, test and evaluation of warship combat systems including determination of performance against current and anticipated threats.

In its systems integrator role QinetiQ devises solutions addressing combat systems problems such as concern capability shortfall or technology obsolescence.  An overall systems solution is devised typically from a combination of bought-in and newbuild elements and integrated into a cohesive whole meeting the defined need.  Typically QinetiQ advises on (1) relevant architectural and design solutions, applicable standards and system-wide issues, and (2) supports customers and suppliers in the integration, test and acceptance of new or evolved equipment as part of combat systems engineering.

QinetiQ is also a supplier of niche products into combat systems including elements of operational systems and system monitoring and test equipment.  Such products are fully engineered and meet stringent quality requirements.  Several of them have been developed from earlier proof of concept demonstrators and, in turn, more fundamental research and development (R&D).

Systems engineering services are employed to undertake these various roles including the delivery of integrated systems and products.  These services cover the entire system life cycle from capability management and requirements engineering through to system in-service support and ultimately disposal.  A mixture of international standards (e.g. ISO 15288), naval standards (e.g. Def Stan 21-88), and industrial and domain-specific practices is employed in conjunction with knowledge of combat systems, equipment and their engineering.

The Naval Combat System Integration Support Service (NCSISS) is a major customer friend role delivered collaboratively by QinetiQ with an industrial partner primarily from the Portsdown Technology Park (PTP) and supporting DE&S Abbey Wood.  It supports much of the RN surface fleet.  NCSISS delivers the necessary integration, test, evaluation, and acceptance activities across all phases of the equipment lifecycle to support the development and delivery of operationally effective and safe Combat System (CS) capability.  It enables MOD and industry to make informed decisions based on objective, credible evidence that is generated by experts in an environment which is free from supply chain conflict of interest.

QinetiQ is looking to fill several combat systems engineering posts at Portsdown with versatile and enthusiastic individuals to support its naval system integration role.  Successful applicants should have relevant experience and qualifications and be able to work as part of a team.  The available posts are typically at GG11 grade but candidates at both GG10 (assistant CSE) and GG12 (senior CSE) will also be considered.

NCSISS CSE capability and roles

NCSISS combat systems engineers will be expected to be capable of operating at a practitioner level within teams led by more senior systems engineers.


  •  Application of systems engineering approach and execution of key systems engineering activities with limited supervision
  • Engaging with customers, other stakeholders, and suppliers on specific technical matters
  • Working as part of a technical team in support of project objectives
  • Identifying, engaging with, and satisfying internal and external stakeholder communities
  • Eliciting stakeholder requirements, understanding them, and addressing their satisfaction
  • Scheming overall system solutions in satisfaction of requirements and constraints
  • Addressing integration, verification and validation and transition into operational service
  • Undertaking and supporting system tests and trials for particular equipment areas
  • Identifying and addressing through-life (e.g. support) considerations
  • Provides support to decision management
  • Produces technical documentation in support of work carried out
  • Delivers work and reports on progress to more senior technical and project staff
  • Escalates significant problems and issues encountered with senior staff
  • Plans and structures own work under direction of project leads


Desired characteristics:

  • A strong background in naval combat systems and their systems engineering
  • HNC/HND/Degree in a relevant subject (such as systems engineering, computer science, physics or electrical engineering) or other qualifications  and with suitable application experience
  • Ability to work with limited supervision on significant, assigned technical activities
  • Ability to work as part of an integrated team and work flexibly and effectively with a range of colleagues from different backgrounds
  • Membership of a relevant professional body (Chartered/Incorporated Engineer status or the willingness to work towards registration) or similar accreditation
  • Microsoft Office computer literate
  • Knowledge and understanding of systems engineering methods and processes, especially as concern system integration
  • Knowledge and experience in using standard tools such as DOORS and Enterprise Architect (or similar)
  • Knowledge of maritime combat system equipment integration and testing processes
  • Willingness to travel as required
  • More detailed knowledge of specific areas of maritime combat systems (as detailed below)
  • Good communication skills able to produce clear, well-structured technical documentation
  • Ability to support sea trials (desirable)

Knowledge and expertise of particular aspects of naval combat systems and their engineering


Expertise is sought in several specific areas of surface ship combat systems or their engineering with candidates being expected to have experience ideally in at least two of the following areas:

  • Combat systems architectures and architecting
  • Naval radars and IFF equipment
  • Naval electronic warfare systems
  • Combat systems networks
  • Navigation systems/geospatial and temporal referencing
  • Maritime data links
  • Naval gunnery systems and their integration into the wider combat system

Experience with specific surface warship combat systems, including the QEC, MCMV and LPD platforms, would be advantageous.

It is essential that individuals are capable of achieving SC clearance.


QinetiQ offers an excellent salary and benefits package commensurate with a large international company some of which are highlighted below:

  • Career development across a diverse International organisation
  • 50% off meals at selected restaurants, 40% off cinema tickets
  • Modern and collaborative working environment
  • Pension – up to 10.5 % Company contribution
  • Flexible Working , Social and family events
  • Health Cash Plan, Health Screening, Employee Assistance 24/7
  • Leading edge technology focus
  • Private Medical Insurance and Dental Insurance at additional cost
  • Childcare or After School Club , Annual Leave Purchase
  • Personal Accident Insurance , Annual Travel Insurance
  • Gym and sports facilities available at larger sites
  • Payroll Giving and Volunteering – helping charities and local community.


Please be aware that this role is subject to both security & export control restrictions. These restrictions mean that you must hold full British citizenship and obtain the right to stay and work within the UK. Restrictions may also mean that any dual or previous nationalities held can affect the security clearance and roles that you can perform within QinetiQ.

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