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Warspite Sets New Standards

13 Sep 2005

BAE Systems has completed five compartments on Astutes command deck module (CDM) to a new grading standard of cleanliness and environmental control. The work was undertaken in BAE Systems Warspite facility in Barrow-in-Furness, North West England, and enabled the installation of sensitive combat systems equipment.

The objectives of the Warspite facility are to optimise the production process and to de-risk the setting-to-work and integration of Astutes combat systems helping to reduce pre-launch timescales and remove combat systems from the Astute submarine programmes critical path. To achieve early integration of the combat systems off boat in workshop conditions - the compartments on the CDM must be completed to the required standards.

A new grading standard, Warspite grade 3, has been adopted based on the naval engineering standard grade 3. In order to achieve this grade of compartment the cleanliness of the overall facility must be maintained. This involves meticulous cleaning of the module and the main facility, regular humidity, temperature and air quality checks, along with the installation of a protective air curtain across the delivery entrance, and a purpose-built chilled water plant to enable the modules chilled water system to operate. This in turn will enable all but final whole boat testing to be completed before Astute goes to sea.

Operations Warspite manager John Postlethwaite said: A compliance matrix has been created, and agreed with all stakeholders, which shows compliance against the official naval standard. In order to achieve this grade of compartment within Warspite, bearing in mind that the command deck module is open to the environment, the cleanliness of the overall facility must be rigorously maintained.


BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery, and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. The Company designs, manufactures, and supports military aircraft, combat vehicles, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, and guided weapon systems. It is a pioneer in technology with a heritage stretching back hundreds of years and is at the forefront of innovation, working to develop the next generation of intelligent defence systems. BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The Company employs over 90,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately 14.8 billion through its wholly owned and joint-venture operations.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Nelson, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1229 875975 Fax: +44 (0) 1229 873333

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