The panels, which are manufactured by BFG International based in Bahrain, are generally 1 m x 1.9 m, but sizes vary to accommodate panelling for platforms, concourse areas, over-bridges, CCTV brackets, escalator inclines, and customer information displays. They are produced using hand lay-up.

Unlike metallic panels traditionally used on the tube network, the composite panels fitted by QinetiQ are corrosion resistant and are said to be more adaptable to architectural features. They also meet high structural and wind pressure loading requirements.

According to QinetiQ, the panels are the only composite panels to meet London Underground’s stringent requirements for fire safety, which include issues such as spread flame, toxicity and smoke emission. QinetiQ says “specific composition and production of the panels” has enabled it to meet these standards without going into further detail.

Two-thirds of the London tube system are being upgraded. QinetiQ is already working on modernising platforms at Holborn station.