Find a Security Clearance Job!



19 Feb 2008 | Ref. 058/2008
Farnborough, UK - BAE Systems’ scientists and engineers have developed a technology, which could revolutionise the design and build of future submarines and lead to potential cost savings of millions of pounds.

Developed by the company’s Advanced Technology Centre (ATC), the ‘Through Hull Data Link’ system uses wireless technology to pass data through several inches of solid steel, removing the need to create holes in the hull of a submarine and ensuring data can be transmitted to external equipment in a safer and less costly way.

The technology offers a wide band transmission that could also be used for armoured fighting vehicles and civil applications such as nuclear power and petrochemical plant.

On submarines, the vessels currently require a series of holes or ‘penetrations’ in the boat’s hull to allow for the passage of cables carrying data from inside the boat. These penetrations are expensive to fit and require additional strengthening of the hull to counteract structural weaknesses. They are also prone to stress fatigue associated with repeated dives, substantially increasing through life maintenance costs.

The new technology, developed as part of BAE Systems’ strategic research and technology programme, will enable information to pass through the hull without the use of conventional penetrations and eliminates the need for additional strengthening, significantly reducing through-life maintenance costs.

Scientists at the ATC claim the technology can be adapted for a range of applications and is currently being considered for use on Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs). The oil and civil nuclear and gas industries could also stand to benefit from the technology.

“We’ve developed a number of technology demonstrators and envisage the technology soon being used on submarines and armoured vehicles,” says John Bagshaw, the systems’ principal inventor. “Most recently, we have demonstrated a video camera passing signals through an armoured vehicle hull. This obviously offers significant advantages in increasing the crew’s situational awareness without reducing their protection.”


About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 96,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded £15 billion (US $27 billion) in 2006*.

*On a pro forma basis, assuming BAE Systems had owned Armor Holdings Inc for the whole of 2006


For more information please contact:
Andy Bunce, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 852714; Mobile: +44 (0) 7801 716448

Barney O’Kelly, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384717 Mob: +44 (0)7803 667434


Issued by:
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384605 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739

Join the mailing list