Euronaval Online 2020: Leonardo’s new Combat Management System CMS for modern navies

At Euronaval Online, the digital edition of Euronaval 2020, International naval defense and maritime security industry exhibition, Italian Defense Company Leonardo presents a unique new Combat Management System (CMS) for the naval defense market which features an exclusive multi-touch screen and full-map graphics for complete situational awareness. Drawing on Leonardo’s more than 50 years of experience in CMS, the new system will become a naval C4I system featuring tactical capabilities and access to strategic network services and facilities, all grouped together in a new, user-friendly man-machine interface.

SAAB exhibits products and solutions for maritime defense IMDEX 2019 925 001Leonardo has developed a unique new Combat Management System (CMS) for the naval defense market which features an exclusive multi-touch screen and full-map graphics for complete situational awareness. (Picture source Leonardo)

A key feature of the new CMS developed for modern navies, is that the system is integrated within a new ‘combat bridge’, which is based on an aircraft’s cockpit structure. It can host up to six operators, plus a specific commander’s post, and ship pilots positions are made available via a very innovative and lightweight station, allowing for a reduced crew on-board of new generation vessels. The new operator front end will also include a Naval Tactical Table and Mission Wall Screen System, which will turn the on-board operations room into a truly strategic operations room.

The Command and Control System is a tailored version of Leonardo’s Athena, which has been field-proven and recognized as highly-reliable by customers worldwide over the last 50 years. It covers all real-time operational management requirements via interconnected sensors, weapons and communications, all of which are easily accessible and manageable through advanced Multi-Functional Consoles (MFC). The MFC design replaces Leonardo’s earlier three-screen configuration with a single, 43-inch, high-definition, multi - touch screen display with auxiliary input methods including keyboard, joystick and trackball devices. Its hardware architecture features fully-remote processing nodes and has a reduced footprint thanks to a lightweight carbon-fiber structure.

The new front-end is equipped with an intuitive and high-performance Human-Computer Interface (HCI). This takes advantage of the multi-touch display in order to maximize usability and hence the effectiveness of the operator. It also allows access to the Command Support System (CSS) and related networks in addition to the integrated ship management system.

The new Combat Management System has been designed as a single product, scalable to different types of platforms / naval units according to their needs and duties. Its backbone is based on a common architectural framework and standard software/hardware modules that are able to satisfy the needs of both combat and support vessels. In the latter case, fewer Multi-Functional Consoles are needed. Once logged into the System, the operator is able to access multiple functionalities through the same MFC and available tasks are customized on the basis of the specific operator role.

Remote processing makes the whole system more resilient and allows the hardware to be encompassed in a smaller, dedicated room. This creates a C4I data center on-board, minimizing the need for IT infrastructure outside of the operations room. One notable hardware innovation sees server racks using telecommunication-related solutions, leading to higher resilience and more robust performance. Because the CMS employs fewer and smaller servers than previous systems and features an external power supply, it is more resistant to failure and components can be exchanged without any interruption to the service. The CMS also uses a number of off-the-shelf components, which reduces qualification and acceptance costs and improves the software management and maintenance lifecycle process.