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Flight Simulation Software Developer


Location: Hampshire

Job Type: Full time, Part time


About the job

Job summary

Are YOU ready to contribute to the Defence and Security of our nation and Armed Forces?

The Platform Survivability Group (PSuG) conducts research and provides advice on all aspects of survivability for current military platforms and future concepts across air, land and maritime domains. Our work impacts both research and procurement decisions, and we help to inform MOD on the survivability performance of current and future systems.

The Combat Air Survivability - Simulation (CASS) team is currently looking for Flight Simulation Software Developers to support trials conducted using a world-class operator-in-the-loop simulator. You would be supporting software development and delivery of trials for frontline military Aircrew, to assess operational effectiveness of current and future UK Fast Jet Combat Air platforms in threat environments. Our core capability is based at DE&S Abbey Wood near Bristol, and has been used by the UK, US and other F-35 nations to support Lightning II system design, capability trades, tactics development and evaluation of future improvements. We are currently developing a new facility for the frontline, to be based at RAF Marham (Norfolk), and although you will be based in Fareham, Hampshire, we will require people to support one or both of these off-site facilities.

This capability area is rapidly growing, and consequently there will be opportunity for you to grow your skills, experience and responsibilities. You may also be required to support other areas of the group in future, depending upon aptitude and the balance of demand. Examples of the work we have supported include:
  • Development of future tactics for F-35;
  • Understanding how to maximize the complimentary benefits of using F-35 and Typhoon together in combat missions;
  • Support to procurement decisions e.g. platform capability improvements and weapons integration;
  • Development of a new relocatable facility to support the front line.

    Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution.

    We particularly welcome female and ethnic minority applicants and those from the LGBTQI community, as they are under-represented within Dstl at these levels.

Job description

In this role you will:

  • Be responsible for timely delivery of software developments to model aircraft sub-systems, weapons, air and ground threat systems, and other associated simulator elements, including appropriate testing, validation and documentation;
  • Support the successful delivery of simulation trials including the provision of advice to customers and exploitation of trial outcomes into the wider Dstl work programme(s) as appropriate;
  • Contribute to influencing major procurement programmes both nationally and internationally;
  • Liaise with internal and external Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and interacting effectively with UK / international customers and military aircrew as necessary;
  • Provide analysis and/or system engineering support, to understand Trial results and inform decisions.

As a Level 5 you will take on increasing responsibility for interpreting customer requirements, developing tasks and providing mentoring and oversight of colleagues’ work where appropriate.

Person specification

We are looking for someone who has:

  • The ability to use their own initiative and is enthusiastic in solving problems, demonstrating intelligence, inquisitiveness and self-motivation;
  • A conscientious approach to validation and testing of completed work, maintaining diligence, and attention to detail and responsiveness to critical review;
  • An interest in Aircraft, Air Combat and Simulation including existing knowledge of aircraft and/or threat subsystems;
  • Some experience of programming, or a demonstrable record of logical thinking;
  • A desire to become part of a close-working team, and is resilient, including having an ability to work under pressure; and
  • The flexibility to work away from site for significant periods, including a willingness to work long hours when required to meet Trial deadlines.

    Required Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

  • A degree in a scientific, engineering or numerate discipline such as Maths, Physics or Engineering, Computing or equivalent. Alternatively, equivalent experience gained through industry, apprenticeship schemes or military service may suffice.

  • You will be a technically capable person with an ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • The ability to programme would be a distinct advantage, however we value enthusiasm of the subject area, a strong engineering, science or mathematics degree and the ability think systematically, logically, and creatively over this.
  • Understanding of aircraft sub systems, and the ability to communicate advanced concepts and results effectively would be desirable but not essential.
  • The ability to programme in FORTRAN and/or C, and with a knowledge of UNIX/Linux-based operating systems/environments is desirable, as is experience of writing software in a fast-paced environment.
  • Working in close collaboration with the military and understanding of military operations including modern air combat would be highly beneficial.
  • Scientific analysis tools and techniques.

  • For a Level 4 Simulation Engineer:
You will have a relevant technical education (normally to degree-level) plus experience of working in engineering.

  • In addition, as a Level 5 Senior Simulation Engineer:
Experience in modelling and simulation, software engineering in a fast-paced environment and post-education experience in relevant engineering roles.

Important Information
Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be UK Nationals who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to undertake the projects we are involved in to protect us from any security threats. For this reason, we regret that only UK Nationals will be able to apply for this role. If you are an international or dual-national candidate, and you think you have the skills we need, please consider applying to any of our government, security or defence partners.

This role will require full UK security clearance and you should have resided in the UK for the past 5 years. For some roles Developed Vetting will also be required, in this case you should have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.

Work location
Dstl is strongly encouraging blended and flexible working either at one of our sites or from home or both. We want to empower you to undertake your duties at the most appropriate location for the task, however you will be allocated a Dstl site as a base. You will be required to travel to other Dstl and MoD sites as required.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Working Together
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Developing Self and Others

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Ability to programme and/or demonstrate logical thinking
  • Understanding of aircraft sub systems


Alongside your salary of £27,620, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory contributes £7,911 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

Dstl’s full range of great benefits can be found in the information pack which includes:

  • Financial: An excellent pension scheme starting from 26% employer contribution (find out more here
). In Year Rewarding Achievement bonuses and thank you vouchers. Rental deposit scheme and cycle to work scheme.
  • Flexible working: Options include alternative working patterns such as; compressed hours (e.g. working a 4 day week/ 9 day fortnight), job shares and annualised hours (agreed number of hours per annum paid monthly i.e. working term-time only).
  • Working hours: Flexibility around your working day (e.g. start time, finish time). Ability to bank hours in a 12 month reference period including the ability to accrue and use 3 days per calendar month.
  • Where you work: Depending on your role, blended working may be available including remote working to suit you and your team. This can be discussed at interview.
  • Annual leave: 25 days pro rata (rising to 30 after 5 years) plus 8 public holidays with the ability to buy/sell 5 additional days per annum.
  • Family: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks with full pay, an additional 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid
  • Learning and Development: Dstl encourages and supports charterships, accreditations and provides employees access to fully funded apprenticeships up to level 7 (Masters Degree). Dstl will pay for 2 memberships with relevant bodies/institutions. Employees also have access to Civil Service Learning.
  • Facilities: Onsite parking, EV Charging points, restaurants, cafés and gyms.

The information pack can be found attached to the job specification on Civil Service Jobs.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

We want you to have your best chance of success in our recruitment process, so If at any stage of the application process you would like help or assistance please contact the Dstl Recruitment Team and we will do all we can to support you.

The sift will be completed by 29th September and interviews held from 9th October.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is developed vetting (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.

This job is not open to candidates who hold a dual nationality.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.