Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Sperry Marine
business unit has received the BAE Systems Bronze Chairman
’s Award for Innovation in recognition of pioneering work performed on the network data system for the Royal Navy
’s Type 45 destroyer program.
Sperry Marine’s team played a critical role in developing a data communications network for the Royal Navy’s next-generation destroyer. The network control system links the ship’s electronic engine control system, electrical power management system and platform management system, ensuring uninterrupted flow of vital data among the three critical elements.
Sperry Marine is supplying the platform management system for the Type 45 destroyers under contract from BAE Systems. Since the platform management system is the central control system for the ships’ non-combat equipment, Sperry Marine played a primary role in developing the common data network, working closely with BAE Systems; Rolls Royce, supplier of the ships’ propulsion systems; and Alstom, supplier of the electrical power system, along with the Defence Procurement Agency customer.
“The novel network design, thought to be the first such network to be used on a warship, is designed to link together the three systems, each produced by a different supplier, to ensure they are simple to operate, but difficult to damage,” said Anderson Smith, Type 45 program manager for BAE Systems.
“The challenge was to devise a robust and rugged data communications network so that the control systems for the gas turbines, electrical power equipment and overall platform management system would keep operating in the event of damage at sea,” said Ole Angell, Type 45 program manager for Sperry Marine. “This involved tying together three complex control systems, each with its own communication architecture. Together, the three systems generate more than 6,000 parameters to be monitored and controlled.”