Royal Navy Approves Use of Electronic Chart System on Vanguard Class Strategic Nuclear Submarines
London, UK, 15 April 2010: The Royal Navy (RN) Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System (WECDIS), designed by Lockheed Martin UK - Integrated Systems, successfully completed the testing and approvals programme for the RN’s Vanguard-Class Strategic Nuclear deterrent submarines.
The first Vanguard-Class SSBN (Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear) platform has been fitted with WECDIS and incorporates the latest version of software. The final approval for the Vanguard-Class submarines was granted following an extensive certification testing programme, carried out by Lockheed Martin engineers at Havant, together with their software developers, Offshore Systems Ltd of Vancouver. The submarine has recently completed successful sea trials and gained digital accreditation.
“This is a step change from the days of manual plotting on paper charts,” said Rod Makoske, Vice President and Group Managing director of Lockheed Martin UK - Integrated Systems. “With WECDIS, the navigation team can view the vessel’s real-time position and movement superimposed, along with a radar overlay on a digital navigational chart. The system will show all the navigational aids, identify and warn the operator of the hazards to navigation, and significantly increases situational awareness.”
WECDIS is now the standard naval electronic chart display and information system, deployed across the RN’s fleet of surface ships and submarines. It uses hardware provided by Kelvin Hughes, software by Offshore Systems Ltd and the installation is carried out by Babcock. The newest WECDIS version of software for submarines will enhance the vessels’ ability to plan and navigate using a newly developed navigational algorithm. The Vanguard Boat was the second class of RN submarine to be fitted with RN WECDIS, with a Trafalgar-class boat being the first to be fitted in March 2008, gaining digital accreditation in June of that year. A further four submarines have subsequently been fitted with the equipment.
To date, 60 Royal Navy warships, six submarines and 16 P2000 Fast Patrol Boats have been equipped with Lockheed Martin’s WECDIS navigation system with 95 percent of them having completed the RN’s digital accreditation process, thereby enabling WECDIS to be used as an aid to navigation. Lockheed Martin UK, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, is a leader in systems integration working on major programmes spanning the aerospace, defence and civil sectors. The organisation works with more than 100 business partners and employs over 1700 people at sites across the UK.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.