Babcock has started installation of a new alternative electrical power conversion system, the main static converters (MSC), onboard the UK Royal Navy’s fourth and final Vanguard-class submarine, HMS Vengeance.
Following the UK MoD In-Service Submarines (ISM) team’s decision in late November 2012, the new system is being fitted on HMS Vengeance under the long overhaul period and refuel (LOP(R)) programme.
The MSC has been designed to considerably reduce through-life maintenance requirements and provide a fixed, solid state power electronics alternative to avoid the need for rotating machinery.
Based on the system designed for the new Astute-class submarines, MSC suites will be fitted on all four Vanguard-class boats to replace motor generators (MG), which are an essential part of the onboard electrical power system.
Installation of the MSC suites on the submarine is scheduled to be complete by autumn 2013, after then it will be prepared for commissioning over the next 12 months.
In addition to providing increased platform availability, the MSC suites will provide ease-of-maintenance, high availability, minimal moving parts, and reduced whole life ownership costs for the navy.
The MSC programme team comprises the UK MoD, Babcock and the MSC original equipment manufacturer and equipment design authority Ultra Electronics PMES.
Designed to carry 16 missile tubes and Trident II D5 nuclear missiles, the Vanguard-class submarines are equipped with two SSE Mark 10 launchers for deployment of Type 2066 and 2071 decoys.
Powered by Rolls-Royce PWR2 nuclear reactor and GEC turbines, the Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering-built boats are 149.9m-long and can accommodate a crew of 135.
Image: HMS Vanguard submarine surfaces at sea. Photo: courtesy of UK Royal Navy.