This innovative approach involves adapting controls that are usually used in fly-by-wire aircraft and applying them in a marine environment.
The complete Active Vehicle Control Management (AVCM) system will oversee all major aspects of the submarines’ manoeuvring capability to the highest levels of safety and reliability, similar to existing systems on modern air transport platforms.
Jon Tucker, director for Maritime Controls at BAE Systems Controls and Avionics, said: “With over 50 years of avionics experience, we already have a great understanding of how to develop complex, control systems for hi-tech platforms. However, taking our technology underwater brings exciting new challenges and we are proud to support the Dreadnought programme and play an important part in our national security effort.”
Similar to how fly-by-wire works for aircraft – whereby electronic systems are used to control the movement of aircraft – our engineers are developing electronics that control the heading, pitch, depth and buoyancy of the Dreadnought class among other critical elements with added safety benefits.
Work has already begun, supporting more than 130 highly skilled jobs in Rochester, UK, with the number expected to grow. The programme is one of the largest development projects taking place at the Rochester site and we have made significant investments at the site to create new labs and workspaces to support this exciting programme.
The innovation has been developed in Rochester with engineers in BAE’s Electronic Systems business working closely with colleagues across the Company’s Maritime and Air sectors to develop a world-class system as part of its Active Vehicle Control One-Team. Company engineers will continue to develop the technologies with a view to expanding its applications to both other underwater and surface vessels.