The Common Combat System acts as the submarine’s ‘brain’ – controlling its ‘eyes’, ‘ears’ and ‘nervous system’. Artful, the third in the Astute class family, is the first to use this new technology which is now being retrofitted to earlier Astute class submarines. Work will soon begin to also retrofit Vanguard class submarines.
Paul Beavis, Combat Systems & Support Director for BAE Systems Submarines, said:
“We worked with partners to design an innovative solution that adapts commercial off-the-shelf products to provide the Royal Navy with a step-change in technology - ensuring greater security and resilience at a significantly reduced cost.
“The new command and control system was integrated ahead of schedule so it was ready for the third submarine, rather than the fourth. It is proving itself to be highly capable and will be rolled out across the rest of the fleet – equipping the Royal Navy with the best, most advanced technology available.”
The new system, provided by VMware, Dell and Aish, processes information from submarine sensors to enable crew members to make important command decisions. It was used during Artful’s torpedo test to interpret sonar readings and then attack a moving target with a practice weapon.
Artful is the latest to be handed over to the Royal Navy, joining her sister submarines, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush. The four remaining submarines are at various stages of construction at our site in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.