Improving Force Protection on Mine Counter Measures Vessels
Improve communication between gunnery teams on the Royal Navy’s Mine Countermeasures Vessels.
During operations in the Mediterranean, the Royal Navy identified a need to improve command and control communications between close-range weapon assets onboard Hunt and Sandown class mine countermeasures vehicles.
STS Defence was tasked to investigate the feasibility and practicality of installing a dedicated C2 solution to address the lack of force protection communications to fixed weapons positions.
Savox Communication’s proprietary ImP™ System was identified as the optimum solution for the disadvantaged platforms. This software-defined, platform C2 system featured an Ethernet-based, open architecture backbone to provide uninterrupted high quality voice communications to fixed positions around the platform.
We were tasked with installing and demonstrating the system during a very short window while the ship was alongside in Bahrain. If the trial was to be a success, we knew that we would have to work closely with our customer and the ship’s personnel.
ImP provides each user position with a bi-directional (battle damage resilient) data conduit capable of streaming video and digitised voice simultaneously to all users. A WiFi radio capability also allows remote access to the system for independent ‘roving’ radio systems. The system is a one-time set up solution, with each user position configurable using bespoke software which will allow either full or restricted access to various operator functions. The system is also capable of using constant voice or video recording while live while having an extremely small footprint making it easy to install, repair and replace.
During the trial period, the system was subject to intensive use and reporting which resulted in a resounding success for the platform and Fleet capability, fulfilling 90% of the gunnery communications user requirement.
The trial was deemed a resounding success, so much so that we were persuaded to leave the equipment on-board where it remains, fully operational, to this day.