Programme Design Authority for In-Service Military Avionics Solutions: Thales

Manor Royal Business District
Crawley, West Sussex
Closing date
11 Mar 2024

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Aviation, Aerospace Engineering
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Details

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Thales people architect solutions that enable two-thirds of planes to take off and land safely. We create in-flight entertainment systems that engross 50 million fliers every year and we develop the avionics that control the world’s largest commercial aircrafts. Our simulators train the next generation of pilots for fighter jets, transporters and search and rescue helicopters. And, together, each and every member of our aerospace team makes a difference.

Together we offer fantastic opportunities for committed employees to learn and develop their career with us. At Thales UK, we research, develop, and supply technology and services that impact the lives of millions of people each day to make life better, and keep us safer. We innovate across five major industries; Aerospace, Defence, Ground Transportation, Security and Space. Your health and well-being matters to us and that’s why we offer you the flexibility to do what’s important to you; whether that’s part time hours, job sharing, home working, or the ability to flex your start and finish times. Where possible, we support a working pattern that suits your lifestyle and helps you reach your ambitions.

Programme Design Authority - Inservice Military Avionics Solutions, Flight Avionics (FLX)

Location: Crawley or Bristol  

About this role… 

The purpose of the role is to support the current in-service and future next generation of Thales Cockpit and Mission System Avionics for Military Rotary and Fixed Wing Platforms. This includes:

  • Technical oversight of the Chinook HC Mk.6 in service support contract for the Cockpit & Mission System of the UK Fleet, including:
    • Review and approval of system and equipment level obsolescence modifications, including oversight of supplier technical information
    • Response to customer and in-service questions
    • Development of software enhancements for the Cockpit and Mission System culminating in prototype demonstrations to System Operators
    • Technically support the Cockpit and Mission System Integration Rig, including obsolescence management, ensuring the capability is maintained to facilitate investigations, demonstrations and future prototyping and formal release activities.
  • Leading on the technical aspects of commercial proposals and continuous improvement activities
  • Development and maintenance of the System product roadmap
  • Technical oversight of the AW159 (Wildcat) Communication and Navigation System

  As a People 1st Employer, we are passionate about providing you with opportunities to advance your engineering career and are committed to giving our employees the support they need to reach their professional goals. This includes support in submission of Chartership applications, funding INCOSE and IET membership, and access to a wide variety of learning resources through our comprehensive e-Learning Engine.

Training courses such as our Let’s Lead Programme (for employees demonstrating leadership potential), coupled with our established mentoring and coaching programmes, offer fantastic opportunities for people committed to professional development to enhance their skill set.  

The successful candidate will be someone who…

  • Has the ability to achieve UK Security Clearance
  • Demonstrates behaviours that strongly align to the Thales Leadership Model; Think Big, Make it Happen, Together
  • Is a responsible, accountable and inclusive leader, willing to engage and develop a diverse, multi-disciplinary engineering team through collaborative working approaches; promotes the sharing of knowledge, and positively challenges to achieve a high quality outcome
  • Has the experience, knowledge and competence to oversee safety critical development activities
  • Is convincing and persuasive; effectively manages and works closely with internal and external stakeholders, including the customer, to negotiate on technical capabilities and requirements and drives through progressive change in a complex system and development environment
  • Is confident in their ability to help solve complex problems; asks challenging questions to develop understanding, is able to simplify and break down complex problems in order to address potential challenges, and is able to propose unique solutions that enhance product offerings and added value
  • Understands the underlying technical stakes and business strategies behind the different products and services offered by the business
  • Is a self-starter, with an ability to manage their own and their teams workload and meet their agreed objectives, whilst also contributing to the delivery of wider operational goals
  • Acts as a role model; displaying enthusiasm about learning new skills and technology and takes self-development seriously

  Essential Knowledge, Skills, Qualification

  • Experience across the Systems Engineering lifecycle, from bid through to acceptance, in the development of complex systems or products including consideration for RAMT (Reliability/Maintainability/Availability/Testability), Safety, Security, Configuration Management
  • Background in Electronics or Avionic Systems development
  • A detailed understanding of Requirements Engineering & Management
  • Good knowledge of how Avionic systems interrelate and interconnect
  • Understanding of Integration, Verification & Validation (IVV)
  • Understanding of Qualification & Certification Requirements
  • Working experience on combinations of technologies, to integrate and verify them in a logical, structured and optimised way into a system in order to fully satisfy a Customer’s requirement
  • Experience of interfacing with third party organisations

  Desired Skills

  • Preferably experience of holding a Technical Leadership/Design Authority role previously; though this is not essential
  • An understanding of Military Aviation Authority Airworthiness and Certification processes for High Integrity Systems (up to DAL A) and a deep understanding of the impact of safety on complex avionics systems
  • Experience of working with the UK MOD and Military Platform OEMs (e.g. Boeing, Leonardo etc.) and international equipment suppliers
  • Knowledge and understanding in the development and certification of avionics systems, e.g. cockpit displays, navigation, communication and mission planning and execution

  PDA key tasks and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to…

  • Ensuring that the technical solution is feasible, competitive and meets customer expectations or product requirements in terms of cost, innovation, performance, schedule, etc. by working with other stakeholders
  • Acting as the primary technical leader of the bid or project team
  • Acting as the lead technical interface with the Customer (or Product Line Manager for a Product)
  • Monitoring, reviewing, advising and assisting with technical issues across the programme
  • Ensuring solution compliance with product polices and requirements, as well as applicable legislation & regulations (i.e. Radio Regulation, aviation certification, export restrictions, Environmental/HSE, safety, security…etc.) by working with the Engineering Delivery Manager (EDM)
  • Highlights issues and risks of the engineering environment (process, practices and tools) for the solution against the Country/Company requirements, and overall solution cost, technical risks & schedule
  • Reviews together with the SEM (System Engineering Manager) the technical risks and opportunities and the related mitigation plans throughout the bid or project
  • Prepares the DVa and submits it to the Design Authority (DA) approval
  • Prepares engineering bids, approves project engineering reviews and deliverables, and escalates any issues, risks
  • Organises when appropriate technical meetings and peer reviews together with the Architect (ARC), Subject Matter Experts (SME) and the SEM and other external, internal stakeholders (industry, services, specialists.), in order to perform the solution technical assessment and validation


 About the Aeronautical Connectivity Systems Department in Flight Avionics (FLX) Our mission is to define, develop and deliver safe, cyber-secure and certifiable connected products, applications and end-to-end services to our customers in the civil and military markets within cost, time and quality requirements of our stakeholders with the overall objective of providing the infrastructure and services that enable single pilot operation, and autonomous flight.


The Work Environment

At Thales, we believe in flexible SMART working and have the expectation this role will be delivered through a combination of remote and office based collaborative working. When working in the office, you will be based at the largest Thales site in the UK, featuring access to a wide variety of resources including manufacturing, environmental and electromagnetic test facilities and specialised laboratories. The modern site includes a subsidised restaurant, a café, break out spaces, bicycle storage facilities and more. Our environment is designed to encourage collaborative working, and you will be surrounded by many specialists with extensive knowledge of their fields. Proactive individuals will find that there are many opportunities available in such a large and multi-disciplinary organisation, which makes Thales an excellent career choice.

In line with Thales' Baseline Security requirements, candidates will be asked to provide evidence of identity, eligibility to work in the UK and employment and/or education history for up to three years. Some vacancies may require full Security Clearance which can require further evidence to be provided. For further details of the evidence required to apply for Baseline and Security Clearance please refer to the Defence Business Services National Security Vetting (DBS NSV) Agency.


At Thales we provide CAREERS and not only jobs. With Thales employing 80,000 employees in 68 countries our mobility policy enables thousands of employees each year to develop their careers at home and abroad, in their existing areas of expertise or by branching out into new fields. Together we believe that embracing flexibility is a smarter way of working.


Thales UK is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free recruitment process. We will provide reasonable adjustments and support to ensure neuro-diverse applicants or those with a disability or long-term condition can be their best during the recruitment process. To request an adjustment, if you need this job advert in an alternative format or if you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Resourcing Ops for mid to senior roles, or the Early Careers Team for graduate and apprentice roles.


Great journeys start here, apply now!


Manor Royal Business District is the biggest business park of the Gatwick Diamond area and one of the south east's premier mixed activity employment hubs.

Enviable location and connections

Situated at the heart of the Gatwick Diamond on the Sussex and Surrey county borders, just two miles from London Gatwick Airport, a major motorway junction (M23 Junctoion 10) and two mainline railway stations (Gatwick Airport and Three Bridges), Manor Royal is a popular choice for a diverse range of occupiers including a host of blue chip global brands.

Manor Royal in numbers

  • One of the biggest business parks in the South East.
  • Covers an area of 539 acres – that’s over 300 football pitches.
  • 700 properties
  • 500 businesses
  • 30,000 people

Manor Royal more than a number

Since the formation of the Manor Royal Business Group (MRBG), an association of Manor Royal based business and firms, being on Manor Royal means being part of something. You’re never just a number.

Manor Royal makes sense

Scale, diversity, location and great connectivity with a property offer to match means Manor Royal based firms are never far away from their suppliers, customers and a talented workforce.

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Company info
Manor Royal Business District
7 Magellan Terrace (Ground Floor)
Gatwick Road
West Sussex
RH10 9PJ
United Kingdom

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