The delivery of our maritime capabilities is significantly enhanced by our major testing, assessment and research facilities.
Our major sea range off the west coast of Scotland has a Shore Support Base supporting a range (inner sea area) that is 10km by 6km, with an average water depth of 190m. Tracking in three dimensions is provided by 24 seabed-mounted hydrophones and is suitable for a range of applications, such as the tracking of high speed underwater targets. An integrated dynamic global positioning system allows for simultaneous tracking of surface participants and aircraft.
We have two very large hydrodynamic testing tanks at Haslar in the UK. The Ocean Basin is 122m long, 61m wide and 5.5m deep and is the biggest covered water space in Europe, while the Towing Tank is 270m long, 12m wide and 5.5m deep. Both tanks have wave-making capability to simulate waves and sea states. The Ocean Basin tests physical ship and submarine models to predict performance, manoeuvrability and seakeeping. The Towing Tank is for resistance testing and propulsion.
Our Combat System Integration Facility is a land-based test site that exactly replicates the operation rooms of Royal Navy ships to provide a realistic but safe environment to train Navy personnel and test new equipment. Located near Portsmouth, it’s 20-30 times less expensive than using a real ship.
Our shock test facility based in Rosyth, Scotland, can accommodate equipment up to two tonnes in weight and is designed to test the resilience of warship equipment to shock loading. To ensure a warship’s ability to continue fighting and moving after a threat weapon attack, its equipment and systems need to be shock qualified to test their mechanical and functional performance during and after a shock event.
We also run a Hyperbaric Medicine Unit at St Richard's hospital in Chichester that is used to research and treat decompression illness and other medical conditions.
The Diving and Hyperbaric Test Centre (DHTC) at Haslar operates a unique collection of specialist facilities and capabilities for the research, testing and evaluation of diving, submarine escape and other pressurised equipments. DHTC key facilities include; the Experimental Diving Tank (EDT) with acoustic measurement capability; the Life Support Systems Laboratory (LSSL) with 1000m depth capability, dual breathing simulators and respiratory gas monitoring; the Hyperbaric Trials Unit (HTU) with 1500m depth capability and a control system for replicating pressurised escape profiles.