Print Bookmark

We work in partnership with our clients to provide independent and objective advice and support across all stages of the lifecycle from concept through to disposal.


The Strategic Defence Security Review (SDSR) has highlighted a financial over-commitment of £38bn stretched over the next 10 years. Much of the spend (£20bn) has been attributed to unaffordable plans for new equipment and support. Although measures have been detailed in the SDSR to reduce this liability, the savings in key areas amount to £4.3bn, suggesting that many defence programmes still face an uncertain future.

At Atkins, we are aligned to respond to the challenges ahead by delivering bespoke services and solutions to our clients in the following key areas:

Acquisition support

  • Programme management
  • Systems engineering, performance modelling, business cases and supplier selection

Availability management

  • Logistics and supply chain management
  • Availability, reliability and maintainability analysis and assessment

Safety management and assessment

  • Safety management systems, independent advice and safety case assessment

Facilities design and engineering

  • Masterplanning through to design detailing
  • Specialist competence in blast and nuclear facilities

Mechanical design and integrity assessment

  • Specialist nuclear expertise



Whatever the challenge, we’ll find the solution. This belief unites us in delivering high quality engineering, technical and programme management services to government and the defence industry.

Our projects range from a day’s consultancy to supporting the delivery of major, mission-critical programmes. And with our extensive project management skills, we’re able to deliver each one to the very highest standard.

Our principal areas of expertise are:

Mechanical design and analysis

Within defence, we combine our understanding of mechanical engineering fundamentals with specific industry domain knowledge relevant to our clients.

Our core capabilities include:

  • Fatigue and fracture assessment
  • Structural dynamics (including impact and blast loading)
  • Stress analysis
  • Finite element techniques
  • Pressure vessel design and assessment

Learn more mechanical design and analysis

Systems engineering and programme management

We work across all areas including land, C4ISTAR, ships, submarines and air. With an active role on the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), we lead the way on the latest issues, standards and debates in this area.

Our core capabilities include:

  • Systems engineering
  • Programme and project management
  • Through-life capability management
  • Operational analysis/modelling
  • Project and business case support
  • Information/communication systems
  • Software development
  • High integrity software
  • Security

Learn more systems engineering and programme management

Safety and supportability

For safety, we explore different scenarios to minimise risk with equipment, facilities and working environments. For supportability, we assess the reliability of these assets in the long term and set a policy or a strategy for maintaining them.

Our core capabilities include:

  • Safety engineering
  • Supportability
  • Training needs analysis
  • Human factors
  • Reliability and maintainability
  • Integrated logistic support
  • Reliability centred maintenance

Learn more safety and supportability

Facilities design and engineering

We are the leaders in complex building design associated with unique defence-related facilities, providing multidisciplinary engineering capability with significant defence specialisms.

Our core capabilities include:

  • Project and design management
  • Facilities design (civil and structural engineering)
  • Mechanical engineering design
  • Building services engineering
  • Process engineering
  • Electrical control and instrumentation
  • Safety case development

Learn more facilities design and engineering


View all

Jessica Green
03 Feb 2017

I have always been of the view that the huge push for gender diversity we see so frequently in engineering firms is condescending and undermining to women. I don’t need a support network when I see myself as equal. I don’t need motivational sessions from ‘empowered women’ when I see no difference between the ‘empowered women’ and the more competent of my male colleagues around me. Strong and weak people come in both genders, and by categorising ourselves as empowered, we succumb to the stale stereotype that women are weaker than men, and we degrade ourselves whilst complaining that it is the men that are degrading us. In my relatively short experience as an engineer, I have received nothing but respect from my male counterparts; the only sexism I have encountered was from another female engineer who, for some reason, did not like having another woman in the office. I felt patronised when colleagues asked how I thought they could attract more women to the firm. There isn’t an abundance of women with engineering degrees, where did they think they were going to attract them from?! Engineering was simply more for the male‐minded amongst us. Recently however, whilst working on an international project with a global workforce, I specifically noticed one very alien concept: the Spanish engineers were an equal male‐female balance. In fact, on researching the figures, I discovered that the UK has the lowest percentage of female engineers in the whole of Europe. Whilst I still disagree with the use of

UK & Europe , Middle East & Africa , North America , Asia Pacific , Rest of World ,

Anne Kemp
09 Dec 2015

I recently helped to edit a new report, the Association of Geographic Information (AGI) Foresight Report 2020, and what came across over and over again was how crucial one community will be in helping us understand, analyse and manage this huge influx of data: the geospatial community. So what is geospatial? In the simplest terms, geospatial specialists gather, display and manipulate information that has a location attached to it, from an address or coordinates from a GPS. However, there is far more to geospatial than just creating maps. For geospatial practitioners, it’s always been about data, what you do with it and what outcomes you can provide. We need to sift through a huge amount of noise now to find the information we need to make good decisions, and the geospatial community can help us do it. Geospatial analysis can help us to visualise patterns of information, create better understanding and dialogue, and make more informed decisions. The AGI Foresight Report 2020 looks at the big issues for our industry, not only big data but things like smart cities, UAVs and BIM. With over 60 papers, I’d suggest as a starter you check out the papers from Robert Eliot at the National Physical Laboratory on Big Data and the Internet of Things (p103), Jim Plume of UNSW Australia & Building SMART on Integrating Digitally-Enabled Environment - The Internet of Places (p207) and Mark King at Leica Geosystems on SIM Cities - why BIM and GIS fit together (p157). And of course the

Asia Pacific , Group , Middle East & Africa , Rest of World , UK & Europe ,


View all

Challenge Procuring the next generation of armoured fighting vehicles for the British Armed Forces is a complex and technically challenging process. The MOD’s Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Armoured Vehicles Programmes (AVP) area of Land Equipment Operating Centre (LEOC) required additional specialist engineering expertise in order to make better informed decisions about the procurement of these essential vehicles. Solution Atkins was chosen, following competition, to provide this expertise and our team is embedded in AVP as part of the Customer Support Team contract to help deliver a number of complex Armoured Fighting Vehicle projects. These include the Scout Specialist Vehicle, with its 40mm Common Cannon, as well as a sustainment programme for the Warrior and extension programme for Challenger II. Our specialists are based at the MOD’s Abbey Wood site, providing technical engineering advice in Armoured Fighting Vehicle design, development and manufacture. This support includes systems engineering, safety, survivability, supportability and electronic architecture design. Outcome By working together with the client, and liaising with the prime contractors producing each of the armoured fighting vehicles, we were able to assist in the early identification of risks in the programmes and help address issues, thereby saving our client potential downstream cost and time. We have supported AVP through requirements development and are now providing the engineering assurance and advice required for demonstration and trials phases.

UK ,

Atkins has provided infrastructure support services to BAE Systems and to the UK MoD in the Middle East for many years. Much of our work has focused on the delivery of elements of the Al Yamamah Programme including the Air Base Facilities Project, New Base One and specialist Munitions Storage Facilities. Atkins provided consultancy services to assist with masterplanning and conceptual design, translating the client’s overall requirements into a detailed strategic plan. Overall the client benefitted from having complete assurance of an auditable solution which aligned correctly with the bespoke requirements of the industry. Our 30 year track record in the successful delivery of defence projects and our unique understanding of issues and design considerations were integral to the successful delivery of our services.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ,

Atkins has developed and delivers SEMT Ship Safety & Environmental Management Training for the UK Ministry of Defence, its employees (service and civilian) and industry on behalf of the Defence Maritime Regulator (DMR). Our specialists designed a course to cover safety management processes and techniques, safety cases in accordance with the requirements of DSA01.1 Defence Policy for Health, Safety and Environmental Protection, DSA02-DMR – MOD Shipping Regulations for Safety and Environmental Protection and Defence Standard 00-56 and the Acquisition Safety and Environmental Management System (ASEMS), POSMS and POEMS. For further information on the course and to book, please click here.

UK ,

Atkins has played an important part in the upgrade of a dry dock and associated equipment for use in the defueling of S and T class submarines at the Devonport Royal Dockyard, southern UK. Working with the technical authority which is responsible for the design of the defueling equipment within the reactor access house, Atkins carried out the design and substantiation of long tools and associated equipment for the removal of fuel and associated items. Our team also provided expertise in 3D CAD design and production of 2D scheme drawings, seismic assessment, static and dynamic stress analysis, design for manufacture and maintainability, safety assessments, human factors review of operations and substantiation of safety functional requirements.

UK ,

Atkins was the design and engineering consultancy behind Colchester Garrison - one of the UK’s largest ever PFI defence projects. The MoD wanted to relocate the garrison to release land close to Colchester town centre for redevelopment as an urban village. Under a PFI initiative, RMPA Services (a consortium including Atkins, Sir Robert McAlpine, Sodexho and HSBC Infrastructure) was appointed to design, construct and maintain all buildings and infrastructure within the new garrison, providing modern facilities for 3,500 military personnel and 700 civilian staff. Our masterplan set out a campus style development to meet the army’s future needs and aspirations while satisfying affordability criteria and local Town Planning requirements. Our design – which unified 137 new facilities spread across a 185 hectare site – also embraced Colchester’s military heritage. At its peak, this complex project saw a 180-strong Atkins team working with all stakeholders to deliver the garrison to a challenging timescale. Cost savings and reduced construction time were realised through the use of standardised design which allowed high-quality accommodation units to be assembled off-site. We also worked closely with our

UK ,

The Airbus Military A400M is Airbus Military’s airlifter offering for the 21st Century. Able to perform the missions for which today three different aircraft models are required, it is able to fly far, fast and high, while also performing at low altitude and low speeds. It is also able to act as a tanker. Being able to bring bigger and heavier loads onto unprepared airstrips, it is the ideal vehicle for military and civic/humanitarian missions. Atkins has provided detailed stress analysis in support of wing certification for the aircraft. To deliver A400M checkstress Atkins will use a combination of its broad technical and project management skills. Overall the project spans two years and seven work packages; it requires understanding of the latest composite materials and stress analysis methods, and in-depth technical integration skills.

India , UK ,

Atkins is working with Thales Avionics to verify and test the Control and Navigation Display Unit software which provides the Lynx Wildcat pilot with flight-critical information and navigation functionality. With a proven and successful track record in software testing, Atkins had the ability to quickly put in place the bespoke IT infrastructure and test team. Our long term experience in safety and high integrity software was also instrumental in gaining the confidence of the customer.

UK ,

CIPHER is a Ministry of Defence programme that will enhance the performance and interoperability of future cryptographic systems across all MoD platforms and fixed infrastructure. For the assessment phase of the programme, two industry consortia were selected to develop proposed solutions to deliver the programme. It is expected that re-programmable crypto devices and electronic key distribution will feature prominently and many management functions performed by the MoD will be automated and outsourced to the winning consortium. The Atkins project management office has been providing a range of technical and procurement support to the MoD CIPHER team since January 2008. As a multi-skilled consultancy we have filled a very wide range of roles, covering almost every aspect of the assessment phase work. Our independence from the supply chain has also been essential in our role in managing the relationship with the two competing industry consortia. Atkins’ high standard of work has been recognised by the client and resulted in substantial extensions to the PMO contract.

UK ,


For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

Nick Brant
Strategic Defence Director, Middle East & Africa 


In this section you can find technical papers, thought leadership articles and brochures produced by Atkins for the defence sector.

Title Format Size
CIPHER Assessment Phase pdf 832KB
Colchester Garrison pdf 672KB
Global Information Infrastructure (GII) pdf 608KB
NEADS pdf 640KB
Oshkosh Truck Corporation pdf 688KB
Specialist Vehicle (SV) Programme pdf 251KB
Type 45 pdf 1.0MB


View all