A Must Read

The new Maritime Modularity Concept from Royal Navy provides a thorough insight in both opportunities and challenges. You can read the document here:


The following is some of the findings from the RN Concept Paper:

  • Modularity across the Maritime Force can reduce both the time and cost of modernisation to adapt to new missions and allow the incorporation of new technology.
  • Future ship building projects and the development of autonomous systems enables the maritime force to be designed with modularity built in from the start. 
  • Capabilities must be linked through common interfaces and standards. Module to platform integration and crew to module integration is critical for operational effectiveness. Integration applies to the structural integrity and stability of the host platform as much as it does to digital commonality.
  • The integration requirements of Maritime Modularity are significant, and this is critical to success.
  • Potentially future application here includes power generation and electrical distribution to aid future proofing.
  • The ability to integrate new or mission specific applications to any combat system architecture should become the default position. This should be as simple as adding a new app to your smart phone.
  • …. the MK 41 VLS module is Integral Modularity whereas the ability to adapt for multiple weapon types is Installed  assets.
  • Dispersal of modular capabilities also affords the opportunity to employ deception techniques when using commonly packaged/branded modules containing varying or even dummy loads.
  • Initial modular design and construction costs may increase relative to the in-built systems they replace. This increase is likely to be mitigated in the through life cost savings that can be realised.
  • Finally, ill-defined standards and interfaces designed into platforms and modules will increase integration costs.
  • A further risk to be considered in the ship building area is the platform structural integrity and balance effects of large mission bays, or easily accessible modules. 
  • Future workforce implications of modular capabilities must be considered at the earliest stages of development to avoid … risk.
  • LCS Lessons Learned: the necessity to develop modular capabilities at the same rate as the host platform, careful consideration of workforce numbers and simplicity in the interchangeability of capabilities to prevent ‘fleets within fleets’
  • The quantity and readiness levels of the modular capability should be modelled to ensure task and operational concurrency assumptions can be maintained. Platform availability benefits can only be realised if sufficient modular capability is developed.
  • True operational adaptability can only be achieved with sufficiently robust and reusable modular capability. Fixing capabilities, even if designed to be modular, to platforms instantly removes any adaptability built into the Maritime Force.
  • Modularity offers the ability to exploit rapid technological advances through the addition of uncrewed/autonomous systems to existing platforms.