Astute-class submarine

Northrop Grumman‘s subsidiary Sperry Marine has delivered the final batch of platform management system (PMS) hardware to BAE Systems in support of the UK Royal Navy’s fifth Astute-class nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarine HMS Anson (S123).

BAE will install the PMS on to the HMS Anson at its shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness, UK.

Northrop Grumman chief executive for the UK and Europe, Andrew Tyler, said: "Northrop Grumman has a well established relationship with the Royal Navy, supplying and supporting systems for surface ships and submarines."

Currently, Northrop is under contract to deliver PMS hardware and software for the Royal Navy’s fourth submarine of the class, HMS Audacious (S122) as well as for sixth and seventh Astute-class submarines HMS Agamemnon (S124) and HMS Ajax (S125) respectively.

"Northrop Grumman has a well established relationship with the Royal Navy."

The Northrop-built PMS features control and monitoring software, human interface equipment and programmable logic controller-based hardware, designed to meet naval hardware standards for shock, vibration, temperature and electromagnetic compatibility requirements.

Astute Boat five PMS is expected to reduce lifecycle costs for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and minimise programme risk, while providing advanced network design to ensure stringent levels of safety and nuclear submarine control systems optimisation.

Capable of carrying a crew of 98, the 97m-long Astute-class submarines feature Thales Sensors Outfit UAP(4) electronic support measures and are armed with Tomahawk Block IV (tactical tomahawk) cruise missiles as well as Spearfish torpedoes and mines.

Powered by a Rolls-Royce PWR 2 pressurised water reactor, the 11.3m-wide submarines can cruise at a speed of 29k and will replace the Royal Navy’s existing Swiftsure and Trafalgar-class vessels.

Image: Royal Navy’s Astute-class submarine at sea. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines.

Defence Technology