Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,728,043 articles and books

Submarine Command Systems.

The command system is the logical development of the more traditional combat system in older submarines. Today's nuclear-powered and conventional submarines (SSN SSN
Social Security Number
, SSBN SSBN Ship, Submersible, Ballistic, Nuclear (submarine)
SSBN Strategic Submarine Ballistic Nuclear
, SSK SSK Sosyal Sigortalar Kurumu
SSK Strahlenschutzkommission (German: radiation protection commission )
SSK Sociology of Scientific Knowledge
SSK Conventional Submarine (Conventional Attack Submarine) 
) have no problems in acquiring data from sensors. In fact, there is a high risk of data overload affecting the command team's ability to initiate the best response to a threat, but the command system's task is to use the most advanced information technology (IT) techniques to present the data in a form that aids decision-making.

In one important respect submarine command systems differ from those designed for surface warships: older-generation combat direction systems (CDS) generally deal with bearings-only and frequency data, and these cannot provide the operator with a full tactical picture. In other respects, however, they are similar to those systems found on surface ships, and must also maintain and process track information to support command decisions. Compiling a geographical picture is very complex because water is a hostile medium; although sound travels great distances, it follows irregular paths, depending on temperature and salinity, and a surprising range of marine noises makes identification of genuine targets very difficult. As a result, submarine command systems generate and store only a fraction of the number of tracks held by a surface system, but they must often be stored for long periods for comparison.

The modern submarine, Whether conventionally- or nuclear-powered, has a remarkable range of sensors providing inputs to the command system. The most important of these is the bow sonar (either cylindrical, spherical or `wrap-around' conformal con·for·mal  
1. Mathematics Designating or specifying a mapping of a surface or region upon another surface so that all angles between intersecting curves remain unchanged.

), which tracks the target, usually in a passive mode, and uses digital processing Digital processing is the process of altering digital data in any form.

The most common situations where digital processing is involved are computer graphics and digital audio processing.
. Flank arrays provide range-triangulation, while mine-avoidance and under-ice sonar provide a measure of self-protection. The towed array, originally a clip-on type but reelable in the latest large submarines, is used for long-range passive detection and surveillance. Add to these the inputs from the mast-mounted electronic support measures (ESM (1) (Enterprise Storage Management) Managing the online, nearline and offline storage within a large organization. It includes analysis of storage requirements as well as making routine copies of files and databases for backup, archiving, disaster recovery, ) and the visual data acquired through the periscope periscope (pĕr`ĭskōp) [Gr.,=view around], instrument to enable a person to see objects not in his direct line of vision or concealed by some intervening body. Its essential parts are a tube, prisms, lenses, mirrors, and an eyepiece. , and the need for a coherent and rational means of presenting this to a team of operators becomes obvious. A modern command system may even integrate self-protection decoys. What submarines have lacked is not inputs but a means of creating a tactical picture for the command team.

The command system addresses that problem, and uses computers to create an underwater tactical picture, known by the unglamorous term `situational awareness'. A typical command system forms the picture passively from the digital sonar feeding a series of automatic target-followers (ATF ATF Molecular virology Activating transcription factor A cellular protein that stimulates transcription of adenovirus E4 transcription unit, which acts early in infection at any of several 'enhancer' binding sites ). Although it is theoretically possible to obtain Target-motion Analysis (TMA TMA Turnaround Management Association
TMA Texas Medical Association
TMA Transportation Management Association
TMA Training and Management Assistance (a component of OHRD, which is a component of OWR)
TMA Tooling & Manufacturing Association
) automatically, in practice operators periodically submit targets to computer-aided manual TMA (known as Mate in the US Navy). If the target is not manoeuvring, the TMA solution can be projected ahead. In theory, a series of TMA solutions builds up into a tactical picture as the computer projects the movement of each target. But in practice targets manoeuvre, so a single operator can probably evaluate up to ten targets before it becomes necessary to re-evaluate the first target. It then becomes clear that the number of aided TMA stations in a submarine's CDS determines the number of targets it can handle.

The closer a submarine operates inshore in·shore  
adv. & adj.
1. Close to a shore.

2. Toward or coming toward a shore.


in or on the water, but close to the shore:
, the less such limitations are acceptable, but the only alternative seems to be automation, which many submariners dislike. One way to achieve a solution to the problem is to merge multiple sensors, and it seems that references to new and powerful TMA algorithms generally indicate a mixing of available data from passive sensors. Another way is to use simple forms of analysis to eliminate the greater majority of targets as irrelevant, and leave the others to the semi-automatic TMA.

Automated submarine CDSs were attractive because they could accept a surface picture via a datalink, solving the age-old problem of submarines cooperating with surface forces.

The US Navy's Undersea Warfare Operations conducted to establish battlespace dominance in the underwater environment, which permits friendly forces to accomplish the full range of potential missions and denies an opposing force the effective use of underwater systems and weapons.  Advanced System Technology Office has developed a software library aptly named the Submarine Force Mission Planning Library (SFMPL SFMPL Submarine Fleet Mission Planning Library ). This contains a wide variety of tactical aids, some vital to fire control (including new TMA algorithms). A typical submarine outfit has two Tac-series computers running SFMPL software, one for acoustics and the other for combat management.


IBM's Submarine Advanced Combat System (Subacs) was designed to replace the BQQ-5 sonar and Mk 117 fire control system in the later Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  (SSN-688) class attack submarines. It seems to have been conceived as a submarine equivalent of the SQQ-89, a system that would detect targets automatically on a variety of arrays and combine the data into a single usable tactical picture. Compared to the BQQ-5, major sonar improvements were incorporated into the Subacs: the Submarine Active Detection System (Sads) digital transmitter, the BQG-5 Wide Aperture Array and a thin-line towed array. The Sads gives much greater beam-agility and more flexible waveforms, while the fire control and picture-compilation functions are carried out by a modified Combat Control System Mk 1. The main improvement is that several weapons-control elements are merged into a single Weapons Launch System (WLS WLS Weblogic Server (BEA Systems)
WLS Weight Loss Surgery
WLS Weighted Least Squares
WLS Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Mequon, Wisconsin)
WLS Windows Live Search
WLS Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
) and own-ship data-collection is merged into an Own Ship's Data System (OSDS OSDS Operating System for Distributed Switching
OSDS On-Site Disposal System
OSDS Ottawa Swing Dance Society (Ottawa, ON, Canada)
OSDS Oregon Sheep Dog Society
OSDS Oceanic Systems Development and Support (FAA) 

The first system, BSY-1, was delivered in July 1987, for installation in the submarine San Juan San Juan, city, Argentina
San Juan (săn wän, Span. sän hwän), city (1991 pop. 353,476), capital of San Juan prov., W Argentina. It is a commercial and industrial center in an agricultural region.
 (SSN-751), and from the Scranton (SSN-756) onwards, all were completed with the full BSY-1 suite. Lockheed Martin For the former company, see .

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta.
 was awarded the prime contract for the BSY-2 when it was split from the BSY-1 after the earlier system developed software problems in the mid-1980s. The BSY-2 strives to achieve the same goal as the BSY-1, largely distributed processing The first term used to describe the distribution of multiple computers throughout an organization in contrast to a centralized system. It started with the first minicomputers. Today, distributed processing is called "distributed computing." See also client/server. , multi-purpose consoles, combat system display consoles and a number of other improved displays. The first system cost about $ 280 million, and the others cost about $ 250 million each. The total programme cost is estimated at $ 7.4 billion, and was to have been amortised over 29 Seawolf (SSN-21) class, but the cutback cut·back  
1. A decrease; a curtailment: "The political effects of food cutbacks could be devastating" New York Times.

 to only three units makes the BSY-2 the most expensive submarine command system in the world.

The prototype BSY-2 system was delivered in December 1993 for the Seawolf, a second system has been supplied for the Connecticut (SSN-22) and another is on order for the Jimmy Carter (SSN-23).

Little has been released on the command system for the Virginia (SSN-774) class, and it is not certain that it will be designated BSY-3. The Virginia class' smaller hull size forces some compromises on the designers of the so-called New Attack Submarine Network, but on the other hand many sub-systems are now also lighter and smaller.

Over the Horizon

The German Submarine Consortium has broken all records in exporting submarines, both the conventional diesel-electric drive versions and two new designs with air-independent propulsion Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP), is a term that encompasses technologies which allow a submarine to operate without the need to surface or use a snorkel to access atmospheric oxygen. . The current Isus-90 (Integrated Sensor Underwater System) command system is a development of the STN Atlas STN ATLAS Elektronik GmbH was a German defence company, producing sensors and other electronic or computer components such as Radar, Sonar, fire-control systems, simulations.  Isus-83, built around the core of the CSU-90 sonar. The Isus-83 was developed for the modernisation of the Type 206 submarines, associated with the digital CSU-83 sonar.

The Isus-90 is an open architecture system, with all operational software written in ADA Ada, city, United States
Ada (ā`ə), city (1990 pop. 15,820), seat of Pontotoc co., S central Okla.; inc. 1904. It is a large cattle market and the center of a rich oil and ranch area.
. MPR (MultiProtocol Router) Software from Novell that provides router capabilities for its NetWare servers. It supports IPX, IP, AppleTalk and OSI protocols as well as all the major LANs and WANs.  2300-B processors are used throughout, with an STN Atlas RT 6400 chip. A typical system uses five multi-function two-screen colour consoles, three for sonar inputs and two for tactical displays. There is also a separate contact evaluation plot. The first export application was the Isus-90-1 supplied for the Israeli Dolphin class, while the Italian Navy bought the Isus-90-20 for its upgraded Nazario Sauro class boats. The Isus-90 will also be supplied to the Hellenic Navy for its new Type 214 boats, to the South African Navy The South African Navy (SAN), is the navy of South Africa. History
The South African Navy can trace its official origins back to the SA Naval Service, which was established on 1 April 1922.
 for its new Type 209/1400 boats, and will probably be selected by the Republic of Korea Navy for its Type 214s.

The Royal Navy issued its Staff Requirement (Sea) 7566 in the early 1980s, to develop a command system for its planned Vanguard class strategic submarines (SSBN) and for an upgrade for the Swiftsure and Trafalgar class SSNs. In 1984, BAeSEMA and Ferranti (both now absorbed into BAE Systems) were awarded project-definition contracts for a SubMarine Command System (SMCS SMCS St. Michael's College School (Toronto, Canada)
SMCS State Mediation and Conciliation Service (California)
SMCS Structural Mode Control System
SMCS Standard Machinery Control System
), leading to a contract for fourteen systems to BAeSEMA in April 1986, following-up six years later with another nine.
The Rest of the World

Modern Submarine Command and Combat Systems

Denmark         Tactis        Terma system for the Tumleren and
                              Narhvalen classes
                Isaacs        Export version of Tactics
Netherlands     Sinbads       Signaal system for export
                Gipsy         Designed for Walrus class (Sewaco VIII)
Norway          MSI-90U       Kongsberg system designed for Ula class
                              and German Type 212
Russia          Uzel          System in Project 877 `Kilo' type
South Africa    Orca          Indigenous Altech system for upgraded
                              Spear class (Daphne type)
Sweden          9SCS Mk 3     Celsius system for Gotland class
UK              Kafs          RN DCC system used by Brazil
USA             SFCS Mk 1     system used by Australia, Canada, India
                SFCS Mk 2     Used by Israel
                Subics 900    Offered to Egypt
                ACS           Rockwell Collins system used in Australian
                              Collins class [2000]

The system was based on the Submarine/Surface Ship Command & Control Evolutionary System for Successive Operational Requirements (Successor) family of hardware/software modules. Four variants were projected: SMCS-V for the Vanguard class, SMCS-S for the Swiftsure class, SMCS-T for the Trafalgar class, and SMCS-U for the second batch of the Upholder class SSKs. The SMCS-V entered service in 1993, and SMCS-S and SMCS-T followed a year later, but the SMCS-U was cancelled when the Upholder class was terminated at four boats. A fifth variant is under development for the new Astute class SSNs, formerly known as the Batch 2 Trafalgar Class (B2TC), presumably pre·sum·a·ble  
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster.
 designated SMCS-A. The Swiftsure and Trafalgar classes are undergoing a major upgrade as well, based on the 2076 integrated sonar suite.

The usual SMCS layout includes four full multi-function consoles and three similar but less capable displays. These displays include a main tactical display and two remote terminals, one in the control room and one in the sonar compartment. The main consoles include touch-sensitive panels, two plasma displays, two fire control buttons and a graphics tablet. Under software releases 6 and 7 the Swiftsures and Trafalgars integrate the 2076 sonar suite and a new fibre-optic Tactical Weapon System Highway, allowing data fusion and de-fusion. Release 7 was scheduled for 2000.

The first French integrated submarine combat system was the UDS UDS Ustedes (Spanish: Formal Plural You)
UDS Uniform Data System
UDS Unscheduled DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) Synthesis
UDS Unix Domain Socket
UDS Urodynamics
 International/DCN International Systeme d'Armes Tactiques (Sat), which employed the Tit digital data-handling system integrated with a DLA-series fire control system. It entered service in 1985 in the Redoutable class SSBNs, and was followed by the derivative Sade system in the Rubis class SSNs. The next class of SSNs, the Amethyste class and the upgraded Rubis class, had the Thomson (now Thales) Subics (no relation of an American system using the same acronym), which was built around the Titac tactical data-handling system. The Systeme d'Armes Defensive (Sad) is part of the command system for the newer Triomphant class SSBNs, integrated with the Sytac tactical data-handling system.

The Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (Subtics) is a Thales system tailored to the export market, and was sold to Pakistan for the Khalid class SSKs. It is an open architecture system bearing a close relationship to Subics II, but using elements developed for the Triomphant class system. All sensors feed a dual-redundant databus though four processors. One manages broadband low-frequency inputs from the active sonar and the cylindrical bow array, a second handles broadband inputs from the ranging and intercept arrays, a third processes the narrow-band inputs from the flank and towed arrays and the fourth receives the inputs from the electronic support measures, optronic periscopes and radar. The system controls the F 17 wire-guided torpedoes and SM-39 anti-ship missiles through a torpedo/missile control processor. Each of six twin-screen Colibri multi-function colour consoles using 68040 processors is separately connected to the main system databus; there is no local area network.

Software is written in C and there are several major software modules:

* Classification/identification (audio and Lofar/Demon analysis, with generation of interactive hypotheses)

* Track management (automatic and interactive association and fusion, sorting of best representative acoustic tracks)

* Contact motion and analysis (automatic and interactive)

* Situation elaboration (refinement of the tactical picture by associating and fusing acoustic and non-acoustic data, conducting interactive TMA, and track management to select tracks of particular interest)

* Command and decision, threat-evaluation of localised localised - localisation  and classified tracks, and attack and escape planning tools

* Engagement and launching modules, based on DLA-4A and DLT (Digital Linear Tape) A magnetic tape technology originally developed by Digital for its VAX line. The technology was later sold to Quantum, which makes it available to other manufacturers. DLT uses half-inch, single-hub cartridges similar to IBM's 3480/3490/3590 line.  software, to launch two torpedoes and two missiles simultaneously.

The Subtics has been selected for the three Pakistani Khalid class SSKs, but it seems possible that more may be built at Karachi in the future. It is rumoured to also equip the modernised ex-Swedish Challenger class in the Republic of Singapore Navy The Republic of Singapore Navy (Abbreviation: RSN; Chinese: 新加坡共和国海军部队; Malay: Angkatan Laut Republik Singapura, Tamil: Singapore Naviga Padai) is the navy of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), responsible for , and will be the obvious choice if Thales wins the contract to build the Project 75 SSKs for the Indian Navy. The Subtics system is soon to be found on the new Chilean O'Higgins class (Scorpene type) subs as well.

Space does not permit full descriptions of every combat system afloat, but to recapitulate re·ca·pit·u·late  
v. re·ca·pit·u·lat·ed, re·ca·pit·u·lat·ing, re·ca·pit·u·lates
1. To repeat in concise form.

, they are growing more complex in their functionality, while paradoxically reducing the workload on the submariners.

In short

* "Paradox One: the ever-growing demand for information is gradually being satisfied by modern sensors, but in parallel, the flow of information is becoming difficult, not to say impossible, to manage"

* "The solution: while smart displays come to the rescue up to a certain degree, automation (though disliked) appears to be a sine qua non [Latin, Without which not.] A description of a requisite or condition that is indispensable.

In the law of torts, a causal connection exists between a particular act and an injury when the injury would not have arisen but

* "Paradox Two: combat systems are growing in complexity while reducing submariner sub·ma·rin·er  
A member of the crew of a submarine.

Noun 1. submariner - a member of the crew of a submarine
crew - the men and women who man a vehicle (ship, aircraft, etc.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Armada International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Preston, Anthony
Publication:Armada International
Date:Aug 1, 2001
Previous Article:Making Things Easier....
Next Article:Training Half Dry.

Related Articles
RUSSIA - June 20 - Moscow-Washington Military Ties Improve.
Training Half Dry.
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Lockheed Martin Federal Systems.
Canada's connections to nuclear weapons: as recently as the mid-1980s, secret agreements reportedly existed to permit the dispersal of armed US...
Submarine for seals. (Digest).
Defense department. (Brass Tracks).
Diesel submarines becoming a main irritant to U.S. Navy.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters