` New Compass System to guide Royal Navy

United Kingdom News

New Compass System to guide Royal Navy

HAVANT, HAMPSHIRE May 17, 2016 – More than thirty Royal Navy ships and submarines are to be fitted with a brand new compass system developed by Lockheed Martin as part of a six year, £17 million contract from the Ministry of Defence.

The Navigation Compass Programme (NCP) contract will see Lockheed Martin replace the current systems in use on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Frigates, Hunt and Sandown Class Mine Counter Measure Vessels, Trafalgar and Vanguard Class Submarines, and a number of Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, with new, high accuracy solid state sensor based technology.

This contract to replace the compasses on more than thirty vessels across the surface and submarine fleet enhances Lockheed Martin’s reputation as a key supplier of highly accurate and reliable systems that helps guide the Royal Navy on a variety of tasks across the globe”, said Bob Kramer, vice president of Lockheed Martin UK Integrated Systems.

Lockheed Martin has teamed up with iXBlue, a company that develops fibre optic gyroscopes, to produce the NCP. The new compasses are able to operate in the most remote locations where there is sporadic or no GPS signal available. The entire system uses the latest fibre optic technology making them ideal for use in the most demanding situations where the Royal Navy operates.

Defence Minister Philip Dunne said: “The new compass system will modernise navigation systems on board our ships and submarines, which are critical for safely plotting courses at sea".

This contract will therefore provide state-of-the-art technology for the Royal Navy while delivering the best value for money for the UK taxpayer, and is yet another example of how we are investing our £178 billion equipment fund and growing Defence budget in providing the best possible kit for our Armed Forces.

The new compass system will be designed and built by Lockheed Martin engineers in Havant, using the iXBlue MARINS M7 Inertial Navigation and then fitted onto the vessels during periods of maintenance at naval bases around the UK.  The new system will operate alongside the Royal Navy’s Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System or WECDIS which is produced by Lockheed Martin.

The first surface ships will receive the new system in early 2017 with work to begin fitting the system to the submarines later that year.