Navy tech gets £15m weapons brain overhaul

A change of DNA

A change of DNA

The Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose is to get a new command system to help her crew defend the ship against air, surface and underwater threats.

The upgrade is an important milestone in the programme to develop a common command system across the fleet, starting with the Type 23 frigates, according to defence equipment and support director of surface combatants Commodore Graham Peach.

The Type 23 frigate has come into dock for a £15m update which will see the first fitting of the Royal Navy's newest command system, DNA(2), which is based on the system already being fitted to the Royal Navy new Type 45 Destroyers.

The command system is central to the ship's fighting capability, providing the crew with information from sensors and communications and allowing them to direct weapons engagements.

The common command system used across the fleet was developed under the Fleet Wide Management Systems programme, a £30m project assigned to BAE Systems in 2006.

In addition to the installation of the common command system, HMS Montrose will also get 12km of new cabling, to be laid in preparation the installation of a new IT system to bring her systems in line with the common Ministry of Defence network.

Sea Wolf Mid Life Update (SWMLU) is also set to be installed on the vessel.

SWMLU, a £300m programme to introduce a new ship self defence system to the Royal Navy's Type 22 and Type 23 frigates, is designed to help the ships protect against the latest missile threats. BAE Systems holds a £30m contract to install SWMLU across all the Type 23 frigates.