Babcock has successfully installed 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.
The new system has been fitted on HMS Vengeance under the long overhaul period and refuel (LOP(R)) programme, at Devonport Royal Dockyard.
The MSC has been designed to replace the traditional 650kW motor generators (MGs), an essential part of the submarine’s onboard electrical power system and to considerably reduce through-life maintenance requirements.
UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) PCM Vengeance, Commander Ian Bartlett said that the 650kW motor generator sets, replaced by the MSC, have a high maintenance requirement and have historically injected significant tension during submarine maintenance periods.
"Their removal improves the delivery of continuous at sea deterrence," Bartlett said.
In addition to providing a fixed, solid state power alternative to avoid the need for rotating machinery, the MSCs will improve submarine availability to perform the at-sea deterrence role.
Additionally, the MSC suites will provide ease-of-maintenance, high availability, minimal moving parts and reduced whole life ownership costs for the navy.
Babcock HMS Vengeance LOP(R) project manager, Jon Benzie, said: "The close working between the Vengeance LOP(R) team and MSC joint project team has been vital to the successful integration of the MSC suites with minimised programme risk."
The MSC programme team comprises the UK MoD, Babcock and the MSC original equipment manufacturer and equipment design authority Ultra Electronics PMES.
Powered by Rolls-Royce PWR2 nuclear reactor and GEC turbines, the Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering-built submarines are 149.9m-long and can accommodate a crew of 135.
Image: HMS Vengeance sailing at sea. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.