HMS Ocean

BAE Systems has deployed a new shared infrastructure system on the UK Royal Navy’s amphibious assault ship HMS Ocean (L12), marking a vital move in the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) initiative for a common shared architecture across all its warships.

Mainly aimed at hosting software from multiple technology suppliers on a single system, the shared infrastructure allows the crew to access navigation, communications and sonar systems, which are required to operate the vessel’s combat systems.

BAE Systems Naval Ships combat systems director Jennifer Osbaldestin said: "Installing the shared infrastructure equipment on board HMS Ocean introduces a more efficient way of housing the ship’s systems.

"By operating on a single interface, systems can be upgraded as and when required, and capabilities deployed efficiently, ensuring the Royal Navy is best placed to respond to evolving threats."

Built in collaboration between BAE Systems and the UK MoD’s Maritime Combat Systems team, the new system also reduces the space and power required for computing equipment, as well as the spares required to be held aboard, resulting in a significant drop in through-life costs.

"By operating on a single interface, systems can be upgraded as and when required."

Osbaldestin added: "This is a fantastic achievement for the teams involved and there is a real sense of excitement as we move into the next phase of installing the technology on board one of the Royal Navy’s landing platform dock ships, HMS Albion, next year."

In addition to HMS Ocean, shared Infrastructure is being integrated on all 13 Type 23 frigates, offshore patrol vessels and the second landing platform dock, which is set to be finished over the next 10 years.

Furthermore, the deployment of hardware on the Type 23 frigate fleet will also lead to the generation of a coherent shared infrastructure across existing and future vessels, BAE said.

In August, HMS Ocean completed intensive sea acceptance trials and training, following a £65m refit programme at Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth, UK, which involved the installation of new medium-range surveillance radar and retuned engines.

Image: UK Royal Navy’s HMS Ocean at sea. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.

Defence Technology