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’CONCEPT SUB’ shows latest stealth technologies


DSEi, London, UK - A ’concept submarine’ on the BAE Systems stand at DSEi 2007 showcases the advanced technologies which will help submarines become more stealthy.
BAE Systems leads the UK in undersea stealth developments. The latest technologies include improved modelling and assessment techniques to determine the effect of an external shock on the submarine, techniques to more accurately predict its acoustic signature, ways of controlling vibration resonance at sea and modular cast cladding to produce a seam-free continuous ‘stealth’ skin on the submarine.

Displays on the stand include a model of a new closed cycle diesel (CCD) design which aims to deliver an ultra-quiet and highly cost-effective alternative to conventional diesel power units or fuel cells. A typical CCD solution for an SSK (conventionally powered submarine) can deliver between 180kW and 300kW output while allowing the submarine to operate underwater for up to 15 days without “snorting” – surfacing or coming close to the surface to expel fumes and take in air for the diesel.

The BAE Systems CCD solution integrates an advanced mounting system to significantly reduce the radiated noise signature, and also controls the individual engine speeds to “randomise” the frequencies generated into the surrounding ocean, making the submarine more difficult to identify and track.

The CCD system shares many of the technical characteristics of a conventional diesel engine which simplifies training requirements, and the hardware, fuel and air products employed by the system are available worldwide, which means the vessel can use the established supply base and infrastructure.

BAE Systems is also committed to working with the UK MOD, the wider submarine enterprise, universities and its key suppliers to make strategic investments in submarine technology for the future in line with the UK Government’s Defence Industrial Strategy.

An example that draws many of these facets together is the establishment of the Active Control Technology Development Centre at Sheffield University. Based on an existing long-term relationship, BAE Systems has, together with the university, committed long-term funding aimed at the development of innovative ’active control’ technologies. These are targeted at achieving the significant improvements in acoustic signature that are likely to be required over the next 25 years. This collaboration between leading academics and the submarine system integrator, led by Professor Steve Daley, has already led to a range of patented technologies.


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