Babcock to install new reactor control system onboard UK Vanguard-class submarine
Babcock will integrate the new Reactor Control and Instrumentation (RC&I) system onto the British Royal Navy's fourth and final Vanguard-class submarine, HMS Vengeance, at its Devonport Royal Dockyard facility, UK.
Representing the first installation onboard a submarine, the new system is being fitted on HMS Vengeance as a part of Long Overhaul Period and Refuel (LOP(R)) programme.
Rolls-Royce programme manager Ken Cartledge said: "The new reactor control and instrumentation system is modern, efficient, and uses interchangeable printed electronic circuit boards, enabling a dramatic reduction in the variety of spares, which drives cost and efficiency savings for the customer."
Scheduled to replace the existing pressurised water reactor 2 (PWR2) RC&I system, which was developed and manufactured in the mid-1980s, the Rolls-Royce updated RC&I system will provide long-term support and availability of PWR2 plants.
The submarine installation involves legacy RC&I equipment removal, cubicles and ship's cabling modifications, as well as installation and commissioning of the new equipment comprising 800 different parts.
Babcock project manager Simon Reid said: "Improvements to the packaging of equipment, updates to the installation documentation, and the manufacture of specific tooling to assist with the fit have all resulted from the learning from experience process."
Reid said that the MoD, Babcock and Rolls-Royce teams have jointly worked to ensure delivery of the individual equipment matched the installation plan, while retreating with the risk of LOP(R) programme delays.
Following the completion of fitting onboard Vengeance, the new RC&I will be integrated on the remaining Vanguard-class submarines, as well as the first three Royal Navy's Astute-class vessels.
All four Vanguard-class submarines have been designed to carry 16 missile tubes and Trident II D5 nuclear missiles and are equipped with two SSE Mark 10 launchers for deployment of Type 2066 and 2071 decoys.
Image: UK Navy's Vanguard-class submarine, HMS Vengeance will be fitted with RC&I system. Photo: courtesy of UK Royal Navy.