General Dynamics to upgrade submarine combat system software aboard attack and missile boats

July 1, 2016
WASHINGTON, 1 July 2016. Submarine electronics experts at the General Dynamics Corp. Mission Systems segment in Pittsfield, Mass., will upgrade software for U.S. Navy submarine combat systems under terms of a $13.7 million contract modification announced Thursday.
WASHINGTON, 1 July 2016. Submarine electronics experts at the General Dynamics Corp. Mission Systems segment in Pittsfield, Mass., will upgrade software for U.S. Navy submarine combat systems under terms of a $13.7 million contract modification announced Thursday.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking General dynamics to upgrade the software in the AN/BYG-1 weapons control system (WCS), involving several technology insertions (TI) and advanced processing builds (APB).

These software upgrades are for the combat systems and computers aboard several different kinds of U.S. submarines, including ballistic-missile submarines, cruise-missile submarines, and fast-attack submarines.

The contract involves the AN/BYG-1 open-architecture submarine combat control system that enables ballistic-missile and fast-attack submarines to analyze and track other submarine and surface ship contacts for situational awareness, as well as for aiming and firing torpedoes and missiles.

The contract modification calls for General Dynamics to continue development of AN/BYG-1 WCS TI-16 APB-15 software for several kinds of submarines, to complete development of TI-14 APB-15, and perform continued maintenance for earlier AN/BYG-1 weapons control system baselines, Navy officials say.

Related: Navy asks Progeny Systems to develop submarine combat system software that controls weapons

General Dynamics is in the process of upgrading the AN/BYG-1 submarine combat system with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computers. The company is replacing central processors with COTS computers, and is refreshing submarine combat system processors with new COTS technologies each year or two. The AN/BYG-1 system is a counterpart to the Navy's Advanced Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) program that uses COTS computers in submarine sonar signal processing systems.

Submarine crews equipped with the AN/BYG-1 combat control system are able to analyze submarine sensor contact information to track submarine and surface vessels in open-ocean and coastal waters; aim and fire heavyweight torpedoes against submarine and surface ship targets; receive strike warfare orders, plan strike missions and employ Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles; and receive and synthesize sensor data and external tactical intelligence to produce an integrated tactical picture for situational awareness.

The AN/BYG-1 program includes a combat control system for Virginia-class attack submarines, as well as a replacement upgraded combat control systems for Los Angeles- and Seawolf-class attack submarines and Ohio-class ballistic-missile and cruise-missile submarines. General Dynamics also is providing AN/BYG-1 system upgrades for Australian Collins-class attack submarines.

The program uses biennial software upgrades called advanced processor builds (APBs) and hardware upgrades called technology insertions (TIs). The Navy began installing the AN/BYG-1 APB-09 system on Virginia-class fast-attack submarines in 2010.

Related: Draper Lab continues program to enhance accuracy of submarine-launched nuclear missiles

The AN/BYG-1 modernization program separates development of the tactical control system (TCS) and the weapons control system (WCS) to enable independent yet parallel development and certification of these computer systems, General Dynamics officials say. Each of these systems uses a variety of APB software algorithms developed by industry, government, and academia.

The TCS computer hardware portion of BYG-1 integrates sensor inputs to provide a secure common operational picture and improved situational awareness that blends information sonar, electronic support measures, radar, navigation, periscopes, and communications systems. The TCS system architecture allows for rapid COTS insertion to accommodate and integrate additional functionality and sensors.

One of the benefits of rapid COTS technology upgrades to submarine combat systems is the ability for the Navy to learn from real-world experience to make quick improvements. Recent Navy recommendations, for example, were to acquire automation technology to help the operator in areas of high contact density.

On the current contract modification, General Dynamics will do the work in Pittsfield, Mass., and should be finished by June 2017. For more information contact General Dynamics Mission Systems online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

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