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Royal Navy’s Submarine Uses VMware Data Centre To Control Torpedoes

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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HMS Artful’s ‘Common Control System’ is a miniature data centre from Vmware and Dell that tracks targets

The UK’s most advanced nuclear submarine has been kitted out with mini VMware data centre to control its missile launch system.

HMS Artful, which is due to begin sea trials in August, will use the VMware virtualised data centre for its ‘Common Combat System’ – torpedoing, to you and me. The Royal Navy successfully test fired a torpedo using the system in February, and now the data centre is set to be retrofitted to the earlier Astute and Vanguard submarines.

As if getting nautically lambasted by VMware technology alone isn’t bad enough, the torpedo trident is completed by Dell hardware and British defence systems maker Aish.

One-fifth the size

According to VMware, which has worked with BAE on the technology, its data centre takes up just 20 percent of the footprint of previous systems – making it a perfect fit for submarines. The Royal Navy said it has been provided with a “step-change” in technology, enabling “greater security”.

vmwarePaul Beavis, support director for BAE Systems Submarines, said: “VMware has responded to the harsh environmental demands of submarine operations by enhancing the innate resilience of their products and working with us to minimise power demands.”

Artful is one of the first Astute-class submarines to use a Common Combat System.

Using the torpedo test, the “cutting-edge” system was able to interpret sonar readings, and then attack a moving target with a practice weapon.

The CCS collects and processes large amounts of data from sensors such as sonar, providing key information to help inform important command decisions.

The system is so advanced, the Royal Navy claims, it can even process information fed back from the world-leading Sonar 2076, which allows the Royal Navy to detect and track the “quietest of adversaries”.

HMS Artful will be able to carry up to 38 torpedoes, and can be armed with Tomahawk land-attack missiles that have a range of 1,240 miles.

Main image: Crown Copyright

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