A sustainable Submarine (SM) Combat System (CS) that enables all Submarines to fulfil their specified missions, maximises commonality across the Submarine flotilla to reduce whole life costs, and supports the efficient and agile spiral development of operational capability.


The SM CS Enterprise Transformation Programme will operate across three interrelated strands:

  1. Transition to a ‘Single CS Sponsor’ to optimise the CS programme for delivery by SDA.
  2. Improving the CS Delivery Team in its capacity and capability to manage the CS Enterprise.
  3. Reinvigorating the CS Industrial Enterprise to achieve assured delivery to Performance, Time, and Cost against an increased and rapidly evolving capability requirement.

The CS Pathway

Central to delivery of this Vision is the CS Pathway which is the concept of evolving a single ‘Common Combat System’ (CCS) design over time and delivering instantiations of that common design, tailored as appropriate, into submarine platforms either in build or via update programmes. This concept is not new, and this transformation programme seeks to formalise the existing CS principles as well as address lessons from the past.  The CS Pathway concept will be applied to the whole scope of the CS, not just to the computing infrastructure, but to varying degrees dependent upon the nature of the technology and achieving a suitable balance between benefits and costs.


The following enduring high level goals have been identified, which will be refined in consultation with MOD stakeholders and industry partners.

  • Capable, safe, and available SM combat systems (Performance);
  • Faster and more agile deployment of capability (Time);
  • Increased productivity (cost effectiveness and value for money) (Cost); enabled by
    • A higher performing and empowered MoD delivery team;
    • A higher performing, more responsive, and assured industrial base.


The following candidate outcomes have been identified to underpin these goals and enable implementation to be planned and monitored. These will also be refined in consultation with MOD stakeholder and industry partners.

  • Equipment availability demonstrably improved for In Service submarines;
  • Increased confidence that CS equipment capability is delivered to PTC and will be sustainable;
  • An authoritative, resourced, and integrated plan for the delivery of CS equipment capability across submarine classes underpinned by a sufficiently robust set of cost models;
  • An ability to flexibly manage the CS plan, responding to changing operational priorities, emergent challenges, and to prioritise and optimise the deployment of scarce SQEP and development facilities across the SM CS Enterprise;
  • A defined CS Pathway for the evolution of the CS from today’s baseline that looks forwards and delivers new capabilities;
  • A structured approach to the whole life management of the SM CS;
  • MOD ownership and control of a single, generic, modular, Architecture for the whole system that delivers openness and modularity whilst also preserving integrity where required, drives system granularity down to a much smaller ‘procurable component’ level;
  • A comprehensive support solution with Technical Authority (TA) coverage for the full scope of the CS and appropriate support arrangements;
  • More frequent capability upgrades (Rapid Insertion Of Technology (RIOT)) based on an Agile software development process that builds on the MOD ‘Innovation Hub’ initiative making increased used of operational analysis and feedback, trials and experimentation; and adopts a ‘drum beat’ programme that assists industry planning, ‘batches’ updates to enable efficient fielding, and is modelled on a similar US Navy methodology;
  • A healthy and sustainable industrial base that provides for Assured Capability and Freedom of Action, whilst delivering innovation and value for money.

Acquisition Strategy

The Authority plans to develop a potential Future Procurement Model, which will review the industry landscape, the equipment and system level procurement boundaries, and associated supplier relationships. We shall explore effective incentivisation arrangements to stimulate innovation, which can deliver value for money. A more agile route to market via a revitalised and stimulated industry base that can support an evolutionary approach to the Future Procurement Model, by building upon the existing opportunities to deliver the required outcome improvements over time.

Delivery Principles

The following Delivery Principles will be explored as part of the Future Procurement Model:

  • Equipment capability that is as ‘Common As Possible (CAP) Bespoke as Necessary (BAN) across classes of submarine;
  • A Delivery Strategy that promotes capability evolution through in-service platforms and reduces risk in the platform new build programme;
  • A Systems Approach underpinned by model based system engineering that adopts a holistic and systemic approach to decision making;
  • Collaborating with Industry whilst also employing competition where appropriate to drive value for money and stimulate innovation.

Next Steps

If you are an interested supplier and want to engage on the MOD Submarine Combat System Transformation programme, please contact

A future Market Day may be held in 2021, which will be dependent on the COVID-19 position, but if you want to proactively support this Programme then register your interest at the email above. Please provide the following details if you want to register (supplier name and address, individual point of contact with full name, security clearance, email address and telephone number). A possible further advert for any market/industry day or Request for Information regarding the Programme may be planned but your early interest to enable engagement or further communications is welcome. Early informal innovative ideas or capability suggestions on shaping the Transformation requirements can also be forwarded to the email address.