Babcock Contracted to Address Obsolescence in External Comms System on T-class Subs

Babcock has been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defence to design and develop the first stage of an obsolescence update to the Communications Coherency for Submarines (CCSM) system on Trafalgar class submarines.

CCSM, developed by Babcock, was first installed on T-class submarines in 2005, providing the submarines with increased capacity and capability to handle existing and future levels of message traffic and information, including the ability to use and share information efficiently as part of joint or coalition task force.  The system consolidated previously independent autonomous systems into a single Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) based system architecture, covering communications across the frequency spectrum from VLF to EHF.  It also provided improved processes to enable rapid technology insertion for maximum efficiency and cost benefits, and to overcome inherent space constraints.

The CCSM system is now due to be updated to overcome near-term obsolescence issues across the final four T-class platforms, extending the system life to the end of the platforms’ service life.  A two-stage approach has been agreed with the MoD, the first stage of which will be to update the hardware and software handling the military signal messages.  Stage two will address the legacy communications equipment routing infrastructure.

Under contract for stage one of the CCSM update Babcock is now working on the development phase and agreeing suitable hardware and software with the authority, with the design due to be finalised this month (September).  The proposed refresh requires minimal change to the CCSM infrastructure and can be contained within normal fleet time maintenance periods following the design principal for smart-fit rapid insertion.

Trials acceptance for this update is scheduled for January 2014, and will take place in Babcock’s purpose-built Communications Shore Integration Facility (CSIF) at Devonport.  The CSIF de-risks integration, test and acceptance of design solutions in a controlled environment, and ensures time savings and optimised efficiency in equipment maintenance, upgrades, testing and trials on communications programmes such as CCSM. 

Commenting on the CCSM update programme, Babcock Integrated System and Support Group Director Charles John said: “Babcock is responsible for CCSM in-service support and is pleased to provide a solution that overcomes the obsolescence issues while minimising the disruption to the office infrastructure due to the CCSM design.  Babcock has been delivering communications systems for over ten years and is highly responsive to customer needs to meet both existing and future requirements.  As a centre of excellence for this capability we deliver cost-effective support to the highest standards, as well as having the capability to define solutions to emerging requirements.”

Source: Babcock International
Date: Sep 18, 2013