Golden Triangle Shares Recommendations Concerning the Future on Board of Navy Ships

During a conference held at TNO, Soesterberg (Netherlands) on March 8th, TNO, the Dutch Ministry of Defence and industry presented the interim results of their joint Manning & Automation programme. This programme is aimed at developing an integral approach to operational management and crew concepts for future navy ships. The results are promising and emphasize the necessity of a more automated support.
The Royal Netherlands Navy's upcoming ship replacement programmes require a further reduction of crew size, which in turn calls for an integral approach to operational management and crew concepts. As part of the Manning & Automation programme, these issues are tackled by the Golden Triangle, a partnership between Defence, Industry (Thales, RH Marine and DAMEN Schelde) and Knowledge Institutes (TNO), focused on increasing know-how in various research fields.
Promising results
During the presentations on March 8th, a number of advantages became apparent. For example, the existing systems from various manufacturers can be operated from a single computer, which means not only that less hardware will be required in the future but also that maintenance costs can be reduced and less know-how will be required on board. It was also demonstrated how cyber-attacks on ships can be detected and averted, so that specialist knowledge in this field may no longer be required on board. A demonstration showing a more efficient and effective use of internal communication and coordination tools on board showed that operational management during calamities can be organised and executed more efficiently.
Eventually, the results are to be implemented on board of existing and future navy ships. The Ministry of Defence indicated they were very enthusiastic about the preliminary results of the programme and emphasised the need for a more automated support for operational processes (employment of the ship) as well as for the operational support process.
Strategic aims
The Golden Triangle has been cooperating in the field of Manning & Automation since 2013. In 2014, this resulted in a document describing their vision on Manning & Automation: long-term strategic aims for operational management, manning and automation on board of future navy ships, as well as for the support organisation. At the end of 2015, a roadmap was formulated for the period 2015-2030, with an overview of research studies and projects that should be carried out in order to turn this vision into reality, both for Royal Netherlands Navy ships and for navy ships for the export market. A number of these studies are already under way.
Common architecture
One of these studies is Gaudi, a study into a common architecture for defence and industry. This study aims at developing an architecture that integrates existing stovepipe systems (such as the Combat Management System, the Bridge Management System and the Platform Management System) and makes all information on board of the ship more accessible. Additional advantages include the use of common hardware and common software services, improved security, scalability and a reduction of life cycle costs, making operational management more efficient and probably leading to a reduction of crew size. The partners in this Gaudi study are: Thales Nederland, TNO, RH Marine, and the Ministry of Defence.
Note for editors
Thales Nederland BV is the Dutch branch of the international Thales Group. The company has about 1,800 employees working at its locations in Hengelo, Enschede, Huizen, Delft, Den Haag and Eindhoven. Thales Nederland specializes in designing, producing and integrating complex, hi-tech systems for the defence, transport and security industries, such as radar systems, command & control systems, public transport chip cards, communication systems, and cyber security. In 2014, Thales Nederland had a turnover of EUR 420 million and ranked number six on the list of most innovative companies in the Netherlands, with R&D investments reaching EUR 120 million.
More information
Please visit or contact Isabelle Borsboom, spokesperson at Thales, at, or +31 6 105 60 274.