New Wave Media

March 29, 2021

Flight Control Tech Set to Dive Subsea

(Photo: BAE Systems)

(Photo: BAE Systems)

Decades worth of flight controls expertise is making its way subsea on board the U.K.’s next generation submarines.

BAE Systems said it is adapting controls typically used in fly-by-wire aircraft and applying them in a marine environment for Dreadnought class subs. The complete Active Vehicle Control Management (AVCM) system will oversee all major aspects of the submarines’ maneuvering capability to the highest levels of safety and reliability, similar to existing systems on modern air transport platforms, the company said.

Jon Tucker, Director for Maritime Controls at BAE Systems Controls and Avionics, said, “With over 50 years of avionics experience, we already have a great understanding of how to develop complex, control systems for hi-tech platforms. However, taking our technology underwater brings exciting new challenges and we are proud to support the Dreadnought program and play an important part in our national security effort.”

Similar to how fly-by-wire works for aircraft—whereby electronic systems are used to control the movement of aircraft—BAE Systems’ engineers are developing electronics that control the heading, pitch, depth and buoyancy of the Dreadnought class among other critical elements with added safety benefits.

Work has already begun, supporting more than 130 highly skilled jobs in Rochester, U.K, with the number expected to grow. The program is one of the largest developmental projects taking place at the Rochester site and BAE Systems has invested to create new labs and workspaces to support this exciting program.

The innovation has been developed in Rochester, U.K, with engineers in our Electronic Systems business working closely with colleagues across the company’s Maritime and Air sectors to develop a world-class system. Engineers will continue to develop the technologies with a view to expanding its applications to both other underwater and surface vessels.

Marine Technology Reporter takes a deep dive into Oceanography in its February 2021 eMagazine edition, including insights on the GO-BGC Array Project to Monitor Ocean Health.
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