Acoustic performance is paramount in modern naval warfare, especially for ships engaged in anti-submarine warfare, such as the Type 26 Frigate.

A detailed presentation by Sir Simon Lister, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Naval Ships business, at the yard in Glasgow shed a great deal of light on the engineering behind ensuring that the Type 26 Frigate operates with a minimal acoustic signature.

This pursuit of silence is a technical challenge but it is also a crucial tactical advantage. Lister emphasised the importance of acoustic optimisation by illustrating how even the flow of fluid through pipes can impact the ship’s stealth capabilities. By isolating pipes with rubber and carefully designing brackets to minimise noise transmission, the ship reduces the risk of detection by enemy submarines and ensures its own sonar operations remain unhindered.

The attention to detail extends beyond propulsion systems and firefighting mechanisms to encompass every part of the ship, including waste management infrastructure.

Designing Around the Ship

The ability to visualise and design around the ship in such detail offers significant advantages. For one, it facilitates a more integrated and holistic approach to shipbuilding, where the interdependencies of different systems and components are fully considered. A manufacturer, for example, can see how best to install a component without having to visit the ship to look at flat, 2D plans.

The granular detail captured within the visualisation suite at the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow is truly impressive. This level of detail underscores the power and precision of digital twin technology in modern shipbuilding, and the suite’s capability to simulate every aspect of the ship’s design, down to the smallest valve, exemplifies how advanced visualisation tools are revolutionising naval engineering and design processes.

Controlled and Restricted Environment for IP Protection

The controlled and restricted environment of the visualisation suite addresses another critical aspect of modern naval design: the protection of intellectual property (IP) and sensitive information. The ability to keep the ship’s design and other proprietary information secure in a secure environment cannot be overstated.

This secure environment ensures that while collaboration is facilitated among authorised personnel, access to the design and its detailed components is tightly controlled. Such security measures are essential for maintaining the integrity of the design process and protecting the technological advancements that give the Type 26 Frigate and similar projects their edge.

Furthermore, the secure sharing of information and updates, as mentioned in the collaboration between teams in the UK, Canada, and Australia, ensures that innovations are shared within a trusted network, fostering cooperation without compromising security.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Tommo (@guest_809609)
26 days ago

Just seen forces News with what looks like your filming of Cardiff last Nov George possibly Oscar or Bafta on the cards 🤔

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_809620)
26 days ago

I trust there were no Chinese “students” present? So we haven’t just handed our thinking to them on a plate.

Jonathan (@guest_809761)
25 days ago

Students, 5G networks, companies, education institutions…they all report to the Chinese communist party…people forget that china is not a national in the same way as other nations..every part of it is managed, overseen and in the service of the Chinese communist party.

DB (@guest_809777)
25 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You really have to question letting St Bees Public School fall into the hands of the Chinese, so many children of wealthy Sellafield employees attend there, parents evening must be a treasure trove and target rich environment…

John (@guest_809677)
26 days ago

Acoustic isolation for ships machinery etc. has been around for decades , as has computer modelling , so nothing new here . Let’s get them built a lot faster than the current schedules and into service.

ABCRodney (@guest_809702)
26 days ago
Reply to  John

Yep but not with Anechoic Tiling on a surface ship, it’s a whole new level of quiet !

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral (@guest_809732)
25 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

That was certainly an eye opener. It all goes to show just how good this ship will be, and why it is not cheap. Simply rafting stuff up does not cut the mustard if the heads are noisy when you flush! AA

AlexS (@guest_809744)
25 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Does it matter, is it relevant?

John (@guest_809746)
25 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

What’s that got to do with getting them into service faster , it may be a whole new level of quiet but has it been proven in the real world , probably not , so let’s get them out there to check if it all works .

James (@guest_809753)
25 days ago
Reply to  John

Probably as its not been done before it may take time to do it correctly especially on the first one.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_809722)
25 days ago

Good stuff now let’s get them in service 😏

Ex-Marine (@guest_809724)
25 days ago

It is good to see that BAe is actively using Digital Twins for its construction. Industry has been rolling this out for the past five years as computing power and semiconductors improve. If the UK is ever to get fully on top and into a position where it is seen to be progressive and leading in Engineering and Manufacturing, we need to fully embrace Industry 4.0 and Manufacturing 2.0. It now possible to build a full digital twin of the T26. Doing so will deliver large savings and improvements in the manufacturing process.

Jon (@guest_809779)
25 days ago
Reply to  Ex-Marine

Especially if MOD buys the twin. Otherwise it’ll be used for manufacture, but not for maintenance or training, or indeed disposal.

Within 6 months of the ship being handed over, various bodges will cause the ship to diverge from the plans (assuming they are accurate on delivery), so a digital twin needs to be updated to understand the what and the why things are being done in the live environment and how that might reflect on the build of the next one. It’s a very different mindset.