Towards the paperless bridge

The UK Ministry of Defence has selected a team led by Lockheed Martin UK as prime contractor to the Royal Navy for the latest electronic chart and navigation equipment called WECDIS (Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems).

Initially worth in the order of £10 million (US$17m), (and in the order of £29 million ($49.3m) when including in-service support), the WECDIS system will be fitted initially into 48 Royal Navy ships and submarines – including the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Electronic charts are replacing traditional paper charts in many of the world’s navies for their ease of use. It is anticipated that WECDIS will also replace existing electro-mechanical chart tables in a significant number of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and submarines.

Lockheed Martin’s team of Kelvin Hughes, Offshore Systems and Babcock Design and Technology will work with the Defence Procurement Agency and the Warship Support Agency to install the equipment; the first ship will be equipped in mid 2004 and 48 units will be installed by the end of 2006.

The winning solution features Kelvin Hughes’ Navigation & Tactical Display (NTD) WECDIS equipment, with ECPINS-M (Electronic Chart Precise Integrated Navigation System – Military) software from Offshore Systems.

The WECDIS program aims to improve navigational safety and enhance operational efficiency by providing bridge and operations room personnel with a real-time navigation display and management system.