UK Ministry of Defence - Lightweight Node (part of NSoIT project)

Case Study


UK Ministry of Defence - Lightweight Node (part of NSoIT project)

The brief

As a trusted partner to the defence sector in the UK for over 20 years, Barum & Dewar was delighted to deliver the NSoIT project to the UK MOD. A large and high value part of this project required us to design and manufacture a rapidly deployable transit case solution for the communications used by non-uniformed military personnel. Barum & Dewar was briefed that the solution was required to be man-portable, deployed with speed in order to have a classified and sensitive communications with those back at a UK base whilst on a mission.

The cases would travel on both military and commercial aircraft, stored in overhead lockers. Users needed to be able to set up and operate the combined system quickly, without tools, and in a range of environments such as hotels, embassies and buildings of opportunity.

The solution

The solution comprised two identical cases fitted with inner aluminium fabricated frames onto which all equipment was mounted. The frames were located into the cases with custom foam and all ancillary products stored in bespoke lid pouch organisers. All equipment was pre-installed into the frames, fully wired with all peripherals immediately to hand which fit the brief of quick deployment, as well the lightweight materials ensuring that personnel did not encounter any difficulties during mobilisation. Plug & play capabilities were also included in the design as we understood from the brief that a rapid and opportunistic approach to use from the operator would contribute to overall mission success.The rugged plastic cases were selected from SKB’s military approved 3i-series waterproof range with B&D undertaking all design, development, fabrication and assembly.

Barum & Dewar value

B&D’s extensive knowledge and experience of deployable communication projects provided a solid foundation for the development of the design. The use of prototypes to test and validate design concepts at an early stage ensured that once in production the process ran smoothly, to schedule and with a 100% quality outcome. As a trusted partner to our client, we involved them early in this process and with full engagement throughout the project, to ensure that any potential issues were resolved quickly.

The final design utilised the Barum & Dewar team’s diverse range of inhouse skills as a custom design was developed. We found that our experience, industry partnerships and access to ‘best in class’ skills, materials and manufacturing capabilities were the key components to delivering this innovative solution. The final product included high precision metalwork, bespoke fabric pouches, military standard labelling and full assembly, all captured in 3D CAD drawings. The 3D CAD drawings recorded every development detail and approval from our client partners and provided full documentation control both of which helped facilitate a smooth and efficient manufacturing process as well as enabling any future development.

Client impact 

Our solution was delivered ahead of schedule, with the full production quantity delivered to our client quicker than they anticipated. Our flexibility and efficiency on this matter was a benefit to this sector where quick mobilisation is critical to mission success. The B&D solution met the client’s brief in full and with additional functionality. The B&D team incorporated a cooling functionality into the design which was prototyped, tested and added to the build. Consideration was also given to cable management, airflow features and the option of operating the whole system either in or out of the cases depending on locations in order to provide added value to our client when communication is required in the most sensitive of situations.  

B&D Feedback 

David Frame, Managing Director, B&D commented: “We are delighted to be able to work with the UK MoD on this challenging and exciting project. B&D have 20+ years’ experience in developing innovative deployable packaging solutions for the defence sector and delivering on this contract recognises the work of our dedicated team in this specialist area.”