HMS Queen Elizabeth’s S1850M radar has been switched on for the first time, marking a significant step on the vessels readiness for service.
The S1850M Long Range Radar is fitted on top of vessels forward island, the Artisan Medium Range Radar is fitted to the aft island and will begin testing soon.
According to Thales:
“The S1850M surveillance radar is based on Thales’s SMART-L radar and was previously delivered to the Type 45 vessels for the UK Royal Navy and the Horizon class vessels of the French and Italian Navies, in a collaboration between BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies Limited and Thales Nederland.
The system is capable of 3D long range automatic detection, track initiation and tracking of air targets. Its performance has been demonstrated in many tests and the system has proven to be capable of detecting stealth targets in high clutter environments.
Designed to provide a three dimensional and long-range picture, the radar can track up to 1,000 contacts up to a range of 400km from the vessel.”
Weapon engineers PO Ian McDonald said:
“Having been a part of the long range radar programme since it was delivered to Rosyth back in October 2013, it’s very satisfying to see it ‘turning and burning’ – a milestone nearly two years in the making.
It shows both the progress of the ship’s radar section in conjunction with mission systems, and that Queen Elizabeth is another step closer to becoming an operational warship. Queen Elizabeth is another step closer to becoming an operational warship.”
It has been reported that even during the restricted operational conditions imposed for the test, the system tracked aircraft on approach to Glasgow airport (some 40 miles from the ship on the opposite coast of Scotland), as well as transatlantic traffic to and from the rest of the UK.
The ships crew move aboard in May 2016, sea trials begin in August 2016 and the supercarrier moves to Portsmouth in 2017.