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Towed submarine communications buoy demonstrator development

Babcock International Group, Marine & Technology Division : 05 November, 2013  (Application Story)
Babcock will work with SEA on the next development phase of a communications buoy for surface towing behind submerged submarines
Towed submarine communications buoy demonstrator development

Babcock and its partner SEA have been selected to carry out phase two of the Submarine Communications Buoy (SCB) Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP).  This contract award follows the successful results achieved in phase one, building further on this work to de-risk towed communications buoy technology to meet future communications requirements.

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 will operate 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.

Phase one of the TDP programme saw two teams selected to develop an effective SCB system design and validate it with model testing, under a 14 month simulation and testing contract.  As a result of the findings in this phase, the Babcock-SEA team has now been selected to carry out Phase Two.  This three year contract involves delivery of a full prototype system and demonstration in an operational environment.

Commenting on the contract award, Babcock Technical Solutions Manager Tim Whitten said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this phase two contract and will be applying our combination of TDP experience, technical know-how and complementary skills to meet the challenges and deliver this project successfully.  I am very proud of what the team has managed to achieve, with all parties working well to develop in parallel both the system concept and the validated tools required to design that system.”

Babcock has been involved with the MoD’s SCB development programme since the first contract went out to industry for tender in 2008.  The company has previously been contracted by the MoD as one of the teams undertaking concept design and assessment, analysis, model testing and platform integration studies, and more recently, teamed with SEA, to deliver the first phase of the SCB TDP.

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