System. It is a world that we use all the time but rarely think about. Systems are everywhere. In our homes, the electric system is connected to the phone system which is linked to our home security system. In businesses, payroll systems are connected to accounting systems that are connected to billing systems that are connected to inventory management systems. But in each case, the systems are simply interconnected; they don’t work together to form a larger system.
That’s not the case in today’s most advanced warships. Designing them requires the integration of multiple systems to create one floating system capable of executing multiple missions. No individual system can be disconnected from another. For example, a radar’s performance depends on the stability of the ship’s physical structure but also on electromagnetic compatibility with other electronic equipment. Combat systems need to be fully interoperable with other fleets and the entire system needs to be protected from cyberattacks.
This integration of systems makes the modern warship one of the most complex human-made systems on Earth, far more complex than just about any other vehicle. The DCNS FREMM frigate, for example, comprises over 20 million lines of code, three times as much as a modern wide-body jet. But this complexity must remain invisible, so as not to interfere with operations.
Over the years, DCNS has developed a very rare skill set: warship integrator. It is one of only a handful of military shipbuilders capable of designing and building warships that integrate myriad onboard systems from a whole host of suppliers (including itself) into one holistic warfighting system.
We invite you to discover the warship integrator puzzle.
Overview of different DCNS systems