The Royal Navy’s new fleet of T31 general purpose frigates will be equipped with TACTICOS, a highly-automated combat management system developed by Thales.
The company began working on the CMS in the early 1990s, describing it as ‘an integrated and highly automated multi-warfare CMS to manage command and weapon control functions’ on surface ships.
Currently being developed for the Royal Navy’s requirements at Thales’ new naval combat management centre in Crawley, the CMS for the T31 will be fully integrated with the vessel’s lead NS100 radar and other sensors and weapons to help navy warfare teams rapidly assess whether threats are present in the air or sea.
Already in service with 24 navies globally and on 182 different ships, TACTICOS is fully configurable for rules-based engagement with current and emerging threats.
Speaking in Crawley, Mark Harvey, Team 31 Deputy Programme Director said: “The introduction of TACTICOS and new mission system capabilities to the RN delivers a truly open-architecture CMS and a sovereign capability that the UK MoD will utilize on the globally deployed T31 general purpose frigates. Not only will the RN benefit from joining the TACTICOS user community with 24 other navies around the world they’ll be able to develop their TACTICOS system further, ensuring the sovereign capability of their CMS remains within the UK.”
Five T31 frigates will be delivered to the Royal Navy at a cost of around £250m per ship. Thales, as part of Babcock Team 31, will be the mission systems integrator for the Type 31 programme, delivering the combat system, communications systems plus the navigation and bridge system. The first ship is ship scheduled in the water in 2023.
Harvey said: “Team 31 is rapidly mobilising and investing in our Babcock Rosyth facility with…groundbreaking about to commence for a new…build hall capable of housing two T31 frigates, enabling a parallel build, delivering efficiencies…and delivering on the national ship building strategy in a ship building facility that the UK can be proud of.”
The contract to deliver the T31s is expected to secure some 1250 direct jobs at locations around the UK at the height of the project, as well as a similar number in the supply chain. Babcock expects to develop around 150 new technical apprenticeships to the project.