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UK Submarines Pioneer Lockheed Martin UK Digital Navigation
HAVANT, UK October 4 2007
Lockheed Martin UK – Integrated Systems has successfully installed pioneering digital navigation equipment on board a Royal Navy submarine.
HMS Torbay is now the first submarine with the capability to operate using Lockheed Martin’s Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System (WECDIS) digital technology. She joins just a handful of submarines across the world equipped with digital navigation technology.
“Through WECDIS the Royal Navy has become the most advanced in the world when it comes to digital navigation,” said Lockheed Martin UK’s Felix Klauser. “We have already fitted the system to 40 RN ships and there are now plans to fit the system to a further 10 submarines.”
WECDIS draws information from a variety of sensors to build up a precise electronic picture which greatly improves a commander’s situational and tactical awareness. It can provide automatic alarms and detailed information of special areas of interest. WECDIS can store more than 1000 waypoints and has led to a reduction in workload for navigating teams of some 70 per cent.
HMS Torbay, a Trafalgar-class submarine, is now undergoing a thorough series of tests and a programme of training for the crew and maintainers will be completed before the vessel is approved to operate under full digital navigation.
Ken Spreadborough, from the Defence Equipment and Support Agency said: “WECDIS introduces capability across a wide range of naval vessels, each with their own peculiarities of size, shape and legacy equipments. On submarines the challenge is compounded by additional space constraints and environmental considerations. The installation of WECDIS in HMS Torbay is a significant milestone for the project and a major achievement for the MoD and industry WEDCIS team.”
As well as 40 ships, the WECDIS system has been installed in the Royal Navy's five shore integration facilities and the maritime warfare school at HMS Collingwood.
Lockheed Martin UK’s partners in the WECDIS programme are Offshore System International of Vancouver, Kelvin Hughes, Babcock Design and Technology and QinetiQ.