Royal Navy upgrades vessels with Lockheed’s compass systems

The Royal Navy is to upgrade more than thirty ships and submarines with Lockheed Martin’s compass systems developed under a six year, £17 million contract from the UK Ministry of Defence.

The Navigation Compass Programme (NCP) contract will see Lockheed Martin replace the current systems in use on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, Hunt and Sandown Class mine counter measure vessels, Trafalgar and Vanguard Class submarines, and a number of Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels.

Lockheed Martin has teamed up with iXBlue, a company that develops fibre optic gyroscopes, to produce the NCP. The new compasses are able to operate in the most remote locations where there is sporadic or no GPS signal available.

The new compass system will be designed and built by Lockheed Martin engineers in Havant, using the iXBlue MARINS M7 Inertial Navigation and then fitted onto the vessels during periods of maintenance at naval bases around the UK. The new system will operate alongside the Royal Navy’s Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System or WECDIS which is produced by Lockheed Martin.

The first surface ships will receive the new system in early 2017 with work to begin fitting the system to the submarines later that year.