HMS Vanguard

BAE Systems has awarded a contract to Babcock to work on a new design for the submerged signal ejector (SSE) in support of the UK Royal Navy’s future ballistic nuclear submarine (SSBN).

Under the contract, Babcock will develop a new Mk12 SSE design up to the system design phase.

Babcock defence systems technology director, Jeff Lewis, said the company will develop a design that meets the current technical specification requirements for the new submarine as well as the affordability challenges.

"We will be applying our experience to drive out cost of development and minimise through-life cost, delivering a design solution that has been through a thorough concept design and review process and is fully integrated into the submarine design," Lewis said.

The new Mk12 SSE will feature a modular design to enable its manufacturing schedule to be decoupled from the submarine build schedule.

"We will be applying our experience to drive out cost of development and minimise through-life cost."

Capable of supporting submarine escape and rescue, the SSE will also feature new technologies to house the future submarine’s platform-specific performance and technical requirements.

In order to ensure reliability and performance are at the highest possible levels, Babcock is developing its SSE designs to help minimise cost and maximise adaptability with minimum modification.

The innovative safety features of the designs can undergo significant levels of shock qualification and can continue to operate after failure of primary power supplies.

In addition, the through-life support provided by Babcock will ensure the emerging design meets in-service constraints for a smooth transition into service and efficient and effective through-life support.

Earlier, Babcock has supported the SSE systems on all UK submarines, as well as providing weapon handling and launch system (WHLS) and SSE design, initial acquisition and through-life support to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) submarine programmes including the Upholder, Trafalgar, Vanguard and Astute classes.

Image: Royal Navy’s HMS Vanguard sailing at sea. Photo: file image.

Defence Technology