From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CORDA is a small analysis and management consultancy company, owned by BAE Systems and based in Farnborough.[1][2] It provides evidence-based decision support to BAE Systems, government departments, and other commercial organisations.[1][3] "CORDA's key capability lies in the integration of scientific, technical, and financial skills with military expertise across all domains, to provide a packaged, one-stop analysis service, focussed at the concept and assessment phase of the defence lifecycle."[3]


CORDA was founded in 1985 as part of CAP Scientific (part of the CAP Group).[4] At the time CORDA stood for: Centre for Operational Research and Defence Analysis. As with other parts of CAP Group, it became part of the Anglo-French SEMA Group in 1988. In 1991 it became part of BAeSEMA, a company jointly owned by SEMA Group and British Aerospace. It became part of British Aerospace in 1998, and BAE Systems in 1999.

Type of work undertaken[edit]


CORDA builds computer simulations,[5] and uses them for operational analysis studies.[6] In the late 1980s CORDA produced a simulation called FASTAID that was used by the Royal Army Medical Corps to help train soldiers to make decisions about despatching ambulances.[7] An improved and updated version of this tool was developed for Operation GRANBY and delivered by CORDA staff to troops in the field.[8]

Soft OA[edit]

CORDA has used a variety of soft operational analysis techniques such as drama theory,[9] matrix gaming,[9][10] wargaming,[9][11] and political cards gaming[12] in studies. For instance in 2002, they used matrix gaming in conjunction with cost modelling done by HVR to look at the use of unmanned underwater vehicles for Ministry of Defence.[10] In November 2008, "CORDA provided both an interactive symposium on 'political cards' and a presentation on 'the application of war gaming and combat modelling in support of defence decision making' at the war gaming and combat modelling course... run by the Defence College of Management and Technology at Shrivenham."[13]

Business and solutions modelling[edit]

"Within BAE Systems, CORDA provides Defence Analysis services to Business Units during the programme assessment phases, to support operational system and financial trade off and solution optimisation, and during programme delivery phases to provide specialist technical and analytical modelling support."[3] For example, in "February 2008, the CORDA team, in combination with economic modellers from Military Air Solutions, supported BAE Systems Inc. (the US division of BAE Systems) on the T45 Goshawk proposal, which was later followed with support on their Special Operations Forces Support Activity (SOFSA) bid."[14]

Historical studies[edit]

Historical analysis is an operational analysis tool used to take account of human factors.[15] CORDA has undertaken historical analysis studies for the UK Ministry of Defence, these include studies of friendly fire in the land battle from World War II to Operation TELIC conducted from at least 1994 to 2004.[16][17] Other areas of study have included casualty and sickness rates,[18] and campaign level studies to validate current MoD models.[19]

Support to the armed forces on operations[edit]

CORDA has provided operational analysis support to the armed forces on operations in support of Operation GRANBY,[8][20] in the Balkans,[21] and in Northern Ireland.[22]

Fast response studies for Ministry of Defence[edit]

From 2001 - 2010, CORDA provided fast response studies for the Director Equipment Capability (DEC) in the Underwater Battlefield Capability Area of the UK Ministry of Defence. CORDA was involved in the day-to-day business of the DEC including cost/capability measurement, weapon and sensor capability evaluation across the whole spectrum of underwater systems, business case preparation for equipment procurement and concept studies.[23][24]

Fitting 155mm guns to warships[edit]

"Since 2006 the MoD has provided some funding to CORDA (BAE Systems’ specialist consultancy arm) and the company's Land Systems business for a 155mm Naval Gun Study".[25] "'Our previous work in this area showed real potential for an enhanced gun system on the Navy's ships,' says Samir Patel, CORDA's business development director. 'This contract will allow more concentrated research and a live, land-based firing trial in 2009 will inform further developments on the programme'. The next step for the programme, subject to a successful trial and MOD requirements, will be a full scale technology demonstrator programme, leading to possible full manufacture and fit to the Future Surface Combatant and possible retrofit to the existing Type 23 Duke-class frigates and/or the Type 45 Daring-class destroyer."[26]

Synthetic trials of new 30mm gun on Type 23 frigates[edit]

In 2008, CORDA was "awarded a £300,000 research contract by the UK MoD's Defence Technology and Innovation Centre (DTIC) to assess the level of protection British warships receive from small calibre 30mm guns."[27] It was to "examine the implications a large attack by small, fast boats would have on a large warship and research how the threat could be reduced. Particular emphasis will be placed on coastal and estuarine environments, where larger ships are increasingly operating... 'Over the last few years the threat of these small craft as an asymmetric weapon against larger warships has grown,' explains Dr John Golightly, CORDA's MSE programme manager. 'What we are doing is looking at the performance of the Royal Navy's 30mm Automated Small Calibre Gun (ASCG) [30mm DS30M] and what can be done to increase the level of protection it provides.'... 'The ASCG system has significantly enhanced capability, but we have been asked to look at how improving tactics or integrating further technology could improve the performance of the system further.'"[27] The DS30M, which the Royal Navy is fitting to Type 23 frigates, "integrates an off-mount electro-optical director (EOD) with a fully automated 30 mm gun mount".[28] The study used "simulator based operator trials and aims to quantify the performance of the entire weapon system when engaging multiple vehicles attacking together in a co-ordinated fashion. Results of the study are expected in early 2009."[27] The trials were at the Maritime Warfare School at HMS Collingwood.[27] CORDA worked in partnership with GE FANUC and BAE Systems' Advanced Technology Centre,[27] in conjunction with the DE&S Integrated Project Teams (IPTs),[27] with Dstl providing technical direction.[27]

List of conference papers and reports[edit]

ISMOR papers[edit]

ISMOR is an international conference on defence operational research, held annually since 1984. ISMOR is officially endorsed and sponsored by the UK Ministry of Defence and is co-sponsored by the Defence Special Interest Group of the OR Society, and supported by the Military Operations Research Society in the US. An archive of papers from past Symposia is maintained by Cranfield University.[29]

Other conference ppers[edit]


  1. ^ a b Prospects careers website accessed 8 June 2009.
  2. ^ Whilst CORDA is sometimes listed as CORDA Ltd, for example on page 40 of UK Defence Statistics 2008, it currently trades "for and on behalf of BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Ltd" (see FATS/2 (Framework Agreement for Technical Support) List of Participating Contractors).
  3. ^ a b c BAE Systems Facts Group Strategy
  4. ^ The first ISMOR paper produced by CORDA in 1985 does not use the CORDA name, only CAP Scientific. However by ISMOR in 1986, the CORDA paper to the conference has CAP Scientific on the cover, and uses the CORDA brand name inside.
  5. ^ "Emily Leeper wanted to apply the skills she had learnt from her mathematics degree and PhD in cosmology to real-world issues. A recruitment agency put her in touch with Corda, a technical and support services provider, and she was offered a job. Eighteen months later she is a senior analyst, building computer simulations and carrying out research for the MoD. Defence analysts, she says, should be 'numerate people with analytical mindsets who can apply that to real-world problems'. Does not being able to talk shop with her friends bother her? 'I quite like it,' she says. 'It makes for more interesting conversations.'" Plumer, John, How do I become a defence analyst?, The Times, 8 April 2008
  6. ^ There are numerous examples of studies using simulations (often called 'models') in conference papers presented by CORDA. See list of ISMOR papers.
  7. ^ Young, M and Kelly M, FASTAID: A training tool for casualty evacuation in the British army, presented at ISMOR in 1989.
  8. ^ a b Kempster, S, Casualty evacuation for Operation GRANBY, presented at ISMOR in 1991.
    Mitchell, IM, The development of scenarios to support software for Operation GRANBY, presented at ISMOR in 1991.
  9. ^ a b c Young, Michael J, New conflicts, new methods, presented at ISMOR in August 2001. Discusses "new wars" such as UN peacekeeping operations using soft-OA techniques such as drama theory, matrix gaming, and wargaming
  10. ^ a b Young, Michael J, What matrix gaming is and how and when to do it, August 2002. This paper discusses methods used by CORDA and HVR in a study of the use and likely cost of unmanned underwater vehicles. Photographs of Peter Cook (then head of HVR) and Philip Pugh (author of The Cost of Seapower) can be recognised in the slide-pack.
  11. ^ Young, MJ, The continuing need for manual war games, presented at ISMOR in 1992.
  12. ^ Young, Michael, The Impact of OR - Political Cards, presented at ISMOR 2006.
  13. ^ CORDA presents at War Gaming and Combat Modelling course, CORDA news 11 November 2008.
  14. ^ CORDA news, CORDA goes gold, 5 December 2008.
  15. ^ Rowland, David, Stress in Battle, Quantifying Human Performance in Battle, pub The Stationery Office, 2006, ISBN 0-11-773046-7 p16-17.
    This book is a history of scientific historical analysis conducted by DOAE and its successors. Pages 189 and 213 mention two 1989 CORDA reports on tank shock.
  16. ^ Syms, Paul R Friendly fire: learning lessons from history, 2 NATO JCAS Conference, November 2008. references three CORDA reports on friendly fire for the Ministry of Defence.
  17. ^ Visco, EP and Goodman, R, Friendly fire in multi-national operations, presented at ISMOR in 1993.
  18. ^ Richardson, HD and Goodman, R, Casualty estimation in open and guerrilla warfare, presented at ISMOR in 1994.
    Young, MJ, Goodman, RC, and McLeod, C, Casualty Estimating or Whose Data Do You Want to Believe?, presented at ISMOR in 1997.
  19. ^ Goodman, R, Sufficiency of force in conventional warfare, presented at ISMOR in 1994.
    Goodman, RC, and Young, MJ, Predicting success in Land Warfare at the operational level, presented at ISMOR in 1996.
  20. ^ Goodman, RC, Predicting tank and tank crew casualties for operation DESERT STORM from WWII data presented at ISMOR in 1991.
  21. ^ Griffin, Suzanne, Operational Analysis in the Front Line, presented at ISMOR in 1999.
  22. ^ Richardson, Hugh, and Rawle, Judith, Lessons from CT operations in NI, presented at ISMOR in 2007.
  23. ^ BAE Systems News Release: CORDA Wins UK Ministry of Defence Competition, 5 January 2001, Ref: 001/2001
  24. ^ Moore, J, Laker, R, and Roe, J, Equipment Capability Measurement - an Integrated Approach, 2003.
    Moore, John and Lewis, Dave, Rapid Evaluation of ASW Risk, presented at ISMOR in 2004.
  25. ^ Type 45 ("D" Class) Destroyer Daring Class Navy-Matters Archived 5 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ British plan to migrate naval artillery to 155mm, DefenceThink, 16 August 2008.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g New study to examine warship protection, CORDA news, 26 June 2008.
  28. ^ Scott, Richard, ASCG enhances Type 23 close-in defence, International Defence Review, 30 October 2007.
  29. ^ ISMOR, The International Symposium on Military Operational Research.