Announcement

132/2012 - Army engineers looking to speed into the record books

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The British Army’s Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) will join forces with the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car Project in a bid to smash the current land speed record, the MoD announced today.

Bloodhound is the ground-breaking UK project which aims to design and build a car capable of 1,000 mph, eclipsing the current British land speed record of 763 mph set by the Thrust SuperSonic Car in 1997.

The announcement follows the signing of a concordat between the MoD and the Bloodhound Project by Defence Minister Philip Dunne and Bloodhound Director Richard Noble, which outlines their commitment to work together to achieve common goals. This includes promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the UK and raising the profile of science and technology in Defence.

Bloodhound incorporates many advanced technologies with direct relevance to the Armed Forces, ranging from materials and structures through to control systems and data management. The revolutionary technology being built into Bloodhound today paves the way for the equipment that will be protecting our Armed Forces tomorrow.

A team of five REME Engineers will assist in the construction and maintenance of the car over the next two years and will be vital to the success of the project both in the UK and during the record attempts in South Africa in 2013 and 2014.

The REME Engineers will work alongside Royal Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Andy Green, who will drive the new car, powered by a Typhoon jet engine and a hybrid rocket, during the record attempts. He holds the current land speed record as the driver of Thrust SuperSonic Car.

Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology said:

I am delighted to sign this concordat with the Bloodhound Project today. Bloodhound is an inspirational project that will have a lasting legacy for the UK by inspiring future generations into careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. These are essential skills to British industry, particularly within the Defence sector, and it is vital that we nurture them.

This is also a great opportunity for the Army’s mechanical engineers to share experience and develop their skills whilst working on this innovative technology here in the UK. That experience will feed directly back into the front line as they progress through their Army careers.

Today’s announcement builds on the Royal Air Force’s already considerable involvement with the project, through Wg Cdr Green and the retired Typhoon jet engine that will power Bloodhound.

Richard Noble, Project Director of the Bloodhound Project said:

Bloodhound is a cutting edge, high-technology project, operating on a global stage in front of a huge audience. We are delighted that the MoD and REME will be joining us and sharing in this unique adventure. Their young engineers have great skills and attitude and will make a tremendous contribution to the building and running of the car. In turn, they will be ‘hands on’ with an extraordinary mix of aerospace, Formula 1 and space technology, and experience the education programme which is at the heart of Bloodhound.

Craftsman Rob Fenn, 19, a member of the REME support team said:

I have come through the apprentice system and have been lucky to have been picked to work on the most awe inspiring engineering project where I can use the skills I have learned to build the world’s fastest car.

For me, Bloodhound is rocket-powered professional development. I have no doubt that this will boost my career and open my eyes to the most incredible science and engineering.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Defence Minister Philip Dunne made the announcement today at a media event at Wellington Barracks in London, images from the event will be available from the MoD’s imagery website at www.defenceimagery.mod.uk Username: GuestUser Password: HardDrive
  • The record attempts will take place in Hakskeen Pan, South Africa in 2013 and 2014.
  • For further information please call the MoD press office on 020 7218 3258.
  • For images and press information about Bloodhound SuperSonic Car go to www.bloodhoundssc.com