ACA creates largest network on new UK aircraft carriers

The two new UK aircraft carriers currently being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance – a group of companies including BAE Systems, Thales, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence

 

The new UK carriers currently in production by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance will be two of the most advanced warships ever built according to BAE System’s Steve Dowdell, Director of Mission Systems for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, who explains that thanks to miles of fibre optic cables and years of testing this is a ship of 'firsts'.

"The thing that’s really different about this system from any other carrier in the world is everything is integrated, in the sense that if you’ve got a bit of information in one compartment you can then see that anywhere else on the ship."

Steve goes on to explain that this is then taken a step further thanks to a completely unique physical feature of the vessel that has never been seen before on an aircraft carrier.

"We are the only aircraft carrier in the world with two islands, which means we can separate our transmit/receive antennas, it gives us more real estate for comms. Whereas the US carriers are really strapped for space with their single island system, we’ve got 80m between the two island structures."

Having two islands not only gives the carriers a tactical advantage but it also provides valuable space for even more tech to be crammed into the vessel.

"We have over 1000 PCs and Laptops distributed around each ship, once that system has committed the information it can then be accessed anywhere else."

Sadly this doesn't mean you can 'drive' the ship from the mess room, but what it does mean is that the carriers each have their own network which can do everything from letting you stream films, to accessing secure tactical information, all from the same terminal.

Creating a nervous system for a class of ships that are as tall as the Niagra Falls and three times the size of the UK's last carrier is no small task. Dowdell confirms it took 18 months just to lay the kilometres of optical cables needed, whilst back on the ground the teams at BAE Systems spent a further 18 months just testing the system on their own 'virtual carrier'.

To find out more about these 'super-carriers' check out our full rundown of their awesome features from intelligent weapons to stealth fighters in this month's issue of T3 available here.

Future tech: At a glance

future tech predictions
Future Tech: Predictions answered definitively

We were promised a variety of future tech, most of which have failed to hit the shelves. So, what ever happened to flying cars and teleportation? Answers please...

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now