Babcock and its partner SEA have been selected as one of two teams to be awarded a contract for Phase One of the Submarine Communications Buoy (SCB) Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP).
The TDP programme is to de-risk towed communications buoy technology in order to meet future communications requirements. This first phase is a 14 month simulation and testing contract for the two selected teams each to develop an effective SCB system design, and validate it with model testing.
Based on the results of this phase, one team will then be selected to carry out Phase Two. It is anticipated that, subject to MOD approvals, this work will start in summer 2013 and will involve delivery of a full prototype system and demonstration in an operational environment.
The SCB is a towed communications buoy designed to receive VLF radio and to operate in all weather conditions, while the submarine remains deep and safe below. The system therefore operates in a complex dynamic environment and the design must be robust and reliable enough to respond to a range of flow conditions, including large amplitude irregular waves coming from any direction.
Babcock has been involved with the MOD’s SCB development programme since the first contract went out to industry for tender in 2008, and has previously been contracted by the MOD as one of several teams to undertake concept design and assessment, analysis, model testing and platform integration studies. Babcock has now teamed with SEA to deliver the first phase of the SCB TDP. The Babcock-SEA team has the high technical capability required to undertake the challenging simulation, design, development, and trials support necessary for this project.
“We are delighted to have been awarded this Phase One contract, and continue our involvement in this programme,” Babcock Future Business Technical Lead Tim Whitten said. “Our team has a strong combination of TDP experience, technical know-how and complimentary skills to meet the challenges of this project.”