The Royal Navy’s newest and most advanced sub, Artful, test fires torpedo using £50M UK-made advanced Combat System.
The firing of the torpedo tested the BAE Systems designed Common Combat System (CCS) on board, which functions the digital “brain” of the boat.
Using the torpedo test, the advanced system was able to interpret sonar readings and attack a moving target with a practice weapon.
The CCS was completed ahead of schedule and was ready for the third Astute submarine, using the latest technology to collect and process large amounts of data from sensors such as sonar, providing key information to help inform important command decisions.
The system can also process information fed back from the world-leading Sonar 2076, which allows the Royal Navy to detect and track the quietest of adversaries.
Developed through the Astute Build Programme, the Common Combat System is a collaborative industry effort.
Managed through a £50M contract with BAE Systems, the CCS hosts sonar processing capability developed by Thales UK, and was also worked on by global hardware provider Dell; Poole-based systems designers Aish Technologies; and cloud computing company VMWare, which employs UK workers in Staines-upon-Thames and Milton Keynes.
Installation work is being undertaken by BAE Systems at Barrow-in-Furness and Babcock Marine at HMNB Devonport and HMNB Faslane. In total, CCS is sustaining around 146 jobs across the UK.
Minister for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said: “This command and control system, designed as part of an innovative partnership between Defence and UK industry, will allow British submarines to adapt more quickly to changing mission requirements, making operations even safer and more efficient.
“It is a next generation system, both highly capable and cost-effective, which can be installed right across the Royal Navy’s submarine fleets, thereby guaranteeing the best capability for the Royal Navy and the best value for money for the taxpayer. It is also yet another example of how our £178 billion investment in equipment is giving our Armed Forces the best possible kit.”
The system will be rolled out across all Vanguard and current and future Astute class submarines, allowing the applications of several different systems which would previously have needed their own controls, to be brought together in a single computer environment, saving space and allowing the Control Room to be used with greater flexibility.
Rear Admiral Submarines, John Weale said: “We are seeing the resurgence of the Submarine Service with the introduction of new submarines, a clear direction and motivated personnel. The Common Combat System in Artful is a strong demonstration of this and helps to deliver my vision for the Service as the UK’s elite underwater force.
“The unique fighting power of the Royal Navy’s Submarine force, boat for boat and crew for crew, is second to none.”
Artful was handed over to the Royal Navy in mid-December 2015 and is now undergoing her first combat capability trials which will be completed by July 2016. This will be followed by a period of maintenance and training to prepare for operations.