Traditionally, Submarine Multi-Mission Team Trainer (SMMTT) systems at shore-based Fleet Attack Centers have supported only those torpedo variants that have been approved for warfighting and deployed in great numbers. This presented a problem to Submarine Command Course (SCC) students who received their shore-based training on an SMMTT but were then required to exercise more “advanced” torpedo configurations during their at-sea trials. These later torpedo configurations represent the next set of torpedo operational improvements targeted for release to the fleet in the Torpedo Advanced Processor Build (APB) cycle, and they are employed during SCC and other fleet exercises to gather as much real-world, in-water data as possible while providing the fleet with a useable exercise weapon. Significant savings have been achieved over the years by combining these missions. Because of these configuration differences, however, shore-based trainers have not been able to prepare SCC classes completely for their at-sea exercises.
To address this issue, Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s
(NUWCDIVNPT) field representative at the Submarine Learning Center
(SLC) facilitated several meetings to assess options with SLC and the
NUWCDIVNPT Undersea Weapons Systems and Combat Systems Departments.
A number of alternatives were considered to improve the situation,
and after much discussion and analysis, the group decided to integrate
torpedo hardware and the most recent versions of operational software
into the SMMTT. CAPT Arnold Lotring, SLC’s Commander, identified
this approach as the fastest and “highest-fidelity” way
to satisfy SCC type training, while also supporting torpedo APB software
initiatives. To accomplish this objective, the Hardware-In-The-Loop
(HWIL) Weapons Analysis Facility (WAF) at NUWCDIVNPT would need to
be “connected” to an SMMTT location. With a sound systems
concept and implementation approach
in hand, the two UWCDIVNPT
Within six weeks, the two departments successfully completed a proof-of-concept demonstration in which the SMMTT and WAF were interconnected to show that SCC training could be accomplished by linking SMMTT to an updated torpedo running the latest software. On June 10, 2004, CAPT Lotring witnessed a successful trial that replicated a typical ASW scenario incorporating ownship systems, a torpedo launch, and a high-fidelity simulated target – a KILO-class conventionally-powered submarine. The WAF weapon was a MK 48 Mod 6 torpedo, and SMMTT modeled the ownship CCS MK 2 BLK1C Mod 3 Combat Control System (CCS). Two torpedoes were “fired” from the SMMTT. The first run successfully detonated on the target with no intervention. Because the second run included target evasion maneuvers, wire guidance commands were issued, causing the weapon to execute numerous in-water course changes.
As a result of the successful demonstration,
NUWCDIVNPT agreed to assess connectivity issues and provide a second
proof-of-concept demonstration between the WAF at NUWCDIVNPT and
In addition to the two NUWCDIVNPT Departments, SLC, and SUBSCOL, the overall effort also involved several weapon-system program sponsors, including PMS 404 and SEA07L1. The basic concept evolved out of a number of past multi-department collaborations at NUWCDIVNPT, which provided the building blocks that were combined to effect a timely improvement for the fleet. This allowed for training on the new torpedo software earlier than ever before possible. The SLC and SUBSCOL believe that the use of the WAF will be especially valuable to SCC and Pre-Deployment Training at both Groton and Pearl Harbor. Networking the WAF with the SMMTT at SUBSCOL demonstrated the potential of a unique capability to train on the latest torpedo software during the same timeframe in which the new software was being downloaded into the weapons.
Connecting WAF to the SUBSCOL trainers allows SCC classes to train with both advanced weapon variants and unparalleled acoustic modeling of the target and environment. This capability not only supports SCC training with the same torpedo configurations on land and sea, but it also provides an excellent test bed to preview Weapon System and Combat Control improvements before expensive at-sea firings. The demonstrated connectivity will greatly facilitate and expedite the delivery of solutions to the fleet.
Mr. Wernicki is an electronics engineer for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, R.I.
USS Buffalo’s (SSN-715) crew is upgrading its Local Area Network (LAN) during a modernization period to be completed in April.
The new estimated $1.5 million LAN system called, SubLAN 1 will replace the submarine’s old system.
According to Senior Chief Electronics Technician Tony Smith, who helps coordinate and plan SUBPAC’s C5I modernization, the majority of submarines have at least the Tactical Information Distribution System (TIDS). This nearly $422,000 system is the standard for networking onboard nuclear submarines.
USS Buffalo is one of the few non-TIDS boats. Nevertheless, this will make the submarine not only catch up with the rest of the fleet, but also make it the first Pacific Fleet submarine to have SubLAN 1.
According to the SubLAN 1 Design Review, SubLAN offers answers to problems found in TIDS such as insufficient server rack space, cooling for future operating systems upgrades, and slow network connectivity. The operating system is upgraded to Windows 2000. It also connects into the submarine’s fire control systems making its interface user-friendly with Windows-based applications.
CDR Murray Gero, commanding officer of Buffalo, said the upgrade will improve capability from an operational standpoint. The upgrade includes installing a high data-rate antenna and other equipment, allowing better communication with operational commanders.
“With the upgrade, I can now do what most of the other warfighters can do, and that is talk and e-mail in real time either on scene or en route to the scene,” said Gero.
Buffalo’s LAN administrator, Fire Control Technician 1st Class Jason Smith, said SubLAN would improve quality of the workspace environment and quality of life. With better communications, user-friendlier applications, e-mailing, and web browsing for the crew, everyone receives a little benefit.
“With the new network, accessibility will be easier with the addition of more ports and 58 laptops distributed to the crew,” said Smith.
“I no longer need to go to different workstations to fix problems because everything is centralized,” he said.
According to Smith, the upgrade of all SUBPAC subs is a multi-million dollar reality in the making.
“We started in December of 2004 with Buffalo and expect to finish the last boat in 2008,” Smith concluded.