The SA Navy can now work on development and engineering changes in a non-mission critical environment with the acquisition of a new submarine engineering test bed (ETB).
The equipment developed and supplied to the SANDF’s maritime arm of service by Cybicom Atlas Defence (CAD), will allow for a better engineering life cycle of submarine components and create space for research and development, again in non-mission critical areas.
The ETB consists of a mock ISUS 90-45 submarine combat information centre (CIC), five high fidelity multifunction consoles and an integrated Periscope Simulator (PSim). This includes associated electronics and signal processing hardware to provide a high fidelity test bed for integration and testing of new hardware and software. These are incorporated within a GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) mock submarine CIC hull. An Instructor Work Area is situated alongside the ETB with switchable screens and wide-screen monitors.
A further benefit to the submarine service is the ETB can be configured to provide for a submarine operations room training environment where sonar operators, navigation officers, periscope operators, weapons officers and submarine captains can train in a life-like environment, honing their skills in a team CIC operation.
The instructor has the ability to setup various SONAR and visual scenarios to integrate with the ETB SONAR system and Periscope Simulator, allowing for complete control of scenario settings for an advanced training experience.
Recording and playback allows for debriefing of the team after the mission scenario has been completed.
At the handover ceremony in Simon’s town this week Volker Paltzo, chief executive of German-based Atlas Elektronik, a joint shareholder in CAD, noted the contract had been completed on time and marginally under budget.
Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu, was pleased with the capabilities of the ETB which he said was “the finest of its type”.
“This is the future of our submarines. It will be used in broader submarine training and development.”
The ETB has already played host to successful qualification of new SAN submarine captains during its development phase.
Picture: Navy Chief Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu is flanked by Volker Paltzo, Atlas Elektronik chief executive, and Lesiba Kekana of CAD at the ETB handover.