Euronaval, DCNS introduces a next generation CIC for suface vessels
sensor datasets grow by the day, theatres of operations become more
complex and the digital revolution advances in leaps and bounds, DCNS
is helping client navies to cope with the challenges by developing new
systems to display operational information and decision aids. The overriding
aim is to put operators fully ‘in the loop’ and to facilitate
decision-making in the most complex situations. This new concept is
an excellent example of a DCNS naval system designed to deal with new
threats while ensuring information supremacy in combat.
the simulated NextGen Command & Information Center of a Gowind corvette
at the DCNS stand during Euronaval 2012. This is how a 2020 CIC may
look like according to DCNS.
Euronaval 2012, DCNS gave us demonstration inside a simulated Gowind
corvette next generation ops room to illustrate how DCNS envisions naval
command systems in the future. DCNS is well aware of the new emerging
threats such as ballistic missiles and assymetric threats and of the
growing complexity of combat systems. Information flow is constantly
increasing while existing sailors worldwide are gradually being replace
by the new "Y" generation (people born between 1980 and 2000).
The NextGen CIC concept presented by DCNS at Euronaval takes into consideration
all these factors in order to offer the most ergonomic and user friendly
CIC systems to the new generation of sailors. It presents a certain
number of breaktroughs in terms of:
- Collaborative work
- Multi-task workstations
- Presentation of the information
The NextGen CIC is surrounded by a panoramic screen which allows any
operators inside the CIC to share relevant information with everybody.
Workstations may be used by one of several operators depending on the
threat level and allow for control of unmanned vehicles from the corvette
itself but also from other platform. In the demonstration that was given
to us for example, the Gowind Corvette requested VTOL UAV support from
a nearby FREMM Frigate. The Gowind eventually took over the control
of this UAV to identify an hostile ship. In this scenario, the panoramic
view was usefull to display a live video feed from the UAV, a panoramic
view of the surroundings of the ship we were onboard, the tactical situation,
and the engagement plan all at once.
The planification zone revolves around a collaborative table (similar
to a Microsoft Surface table) display detailed information on each tracks
and allowing for replay of former tactical situation. In the NextGen
CIC, the operation center and planification zone are no longer separated
in order to keep a continuity between "real time" (operation
center) and reflective time (planification zone).
The 3D tactical
growing issue affecting both surface ships and submarines is the growing
flow of data (because of the increasing number and quality of sensors)
while modern vessels crew are getting smaller.
To adress this issue, DCNS is involved in research and technology development
focused on ergonomics and human machine interface. DCNS unveiled to
us a concept (still in development) in the form of a 3D represenation
of the tactical situation of a theater. The idea is for a surface vessel
or submarine operator to quickly gain knowledge of the tactical situation,
from various angles. The operator may get information on each of the
tracks thanks to a pointer.
We felt this concept really eased the global understanding of the tactical
situation. This technology may be present on the next generation submarines.