23 September 2013 Thales UK
HMS Artful, the third of the 7,400-tonne Astute-class nuclear powered attack submarines, has been unveiled and officially named at the Barrow-in-Furness shipyard.
Jeremy Standen, Vice President of Maritime Mission Systems for Thales UK, who attended the naming ceremony, said: “We welcome this latest and significant milestone in the Royal Navy’s Astute-class programme. From across a number of our UK facilities, we have collectively provided the platform with a world-class set of sensor systems that provide the essential ‘eyes and ears’ of the submarine.
“The Artful’s official naming ceremony underlines Thales UK’s strong relationship with the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems, and we look forward to further co-operation as the remaining submarine builds continue to progress.”
The first submarine, HMS Astute, was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy in August 2010. The Astute-class boats are the UK’s biggest hunter-killer submarines, and one of the most capable military assets in the service.
The Astute-class platform is fitted with a significant number of Thales sensors and systems, including Sonar 2076, the world’s most advanced, fully integrated, passive/active search and attack submarine sonar suite. The class is also fitted with two Thales non-hull penetrating CM010 optronic masts that, together with Sonar 2076, effectively provide the submarine with its mission-critical ‘eyes and ears’.
Thales also supplies the electronic support measures (ESM) system, which has two multi-function antenna arrays mounted on the masts. Other Thales equipment includes the ECB680 communications and SEEPIRB emergency beacon buoys and an Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite communications antenna.
As prime contractor, BAE Systems is building a total of seven Astute-class submarines. BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines Combat Systems Director, Ian Hawkes, said: “BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines acknowledges the importance of establishing excellent working relationships with key suppliers. The relationship established with Thales UK during the programme for the first two Astute class submarines has continued to strengthen throughout the build and commissioning of Artful.”
“The Thales UK team has made a significant contribution to activities leading to the naming ceremony of Artful, which is the first UK submarine to be fitted with the Common Combat System, using COTS equipment, which will result in significant through-life cost reductions. Most notably the Thales UK team has played a major role in successful integration of the submarine’s primary sonar and key above water systems.”
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About Thales and Thales UK
Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2012, the company generated revenues of €14.2bn (equivalent of £11.5bn) with 67,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.
Thales UK employs 7,500 staff based at 35 locations. In 2012 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3bn.