HMS Prince of Wales has received her Artisan 3D radar system.
The state of the art radar, capable of detecting objects as small as a tennis ball, travelling at three times the speed of sound, and more than 25Km away, has been successfully installed to Britain’s second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft, HMS Prince of Wales say the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.
“Artisan 3D is already in use delivering air traffic management on HMS Queen Elizabeth, providing the carrier with unparalleled awareness and control of the skies around her.
The installation of Artisan on HMS Prince of Wales marks another major milestone in the preparation for sea trials, prior to the carrier joining her sister ship in her home port of Portsmouth next year.”
Les Gregory, Director for Product and Training Services at BAE Systems said:
“Artisan is a ground-breaking radar system that delivers real capability to the Royal Navy in its supreme accuracy and uncompromising tracking.
In addition, its world-leading electronic protection measure ensures that even the most complex of jammers will not reduce its effectiveness. We are proud to be able to bring this advanced technology with its air traffic management capability to the second of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.”
Neil Holm, Prince of Wales Programme Director, said:
“Installation of the Artisan MRR is a key milestone for the team as this will provide the start line for commissioning over the next six months and ignite a change in focus from installation to setting to work the Mission System.
Ewan Ballantine our lead Radar Engineer, has timed the installation of Artisan with perfection to allow ship maturity to take place which is testament to the integrated team work model. A considerable amount of logistical coordination has been required to ensure the right safety, carriage and lifting capability is in place do deliver this key milestone.”
In the coming years, HMS Prince of Wales will take over F-35 trials to allow HMS Queen Elizabeth to return to dock for her routine re-certification work.
Former Captain of the vessel Ian Groom told media that HMS Prince of Wales will need to be delivered during 2019 to allow flight trails to continue whilst Queen Elizabeth is undergoing inspection in dry dock.
HMS Prince of Wales is currently on track for float out and to start sea trials in mid-2019.
Quoted in Janes, Groom said:
“There is a further set of fixed-wing flying trials needed and HMS Prince of Wales has to carry them out. HMS Queen Elizabeth’s re-certification period in 2019 means we need HMS Prince of Wales then.”
The builders are already applying lessons from including improvements to the process of preparing its heat-resistant flight deck and installing an improved F-35 landing light systems earlier in the build process.
As stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the government plan to enhance a Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier to support amphibious capability, that ship will be HMS Prince of Wales.
When discussing these capabilities while we were on board the Prince of Wales, we were told that modifications would include enhancing the vessels ability to host troops. This means that storage for additional marines and more equipment will be provided and some key corridors widened too.
Previous captain, Ian Groom, said:
“We optimised systems and learned how things could be improved both in terms of the systems and also the order in which you build things to make it more efficient and we’re drawing those lessons into Prince of Wales so that we can build it as swiftly as possible to the highest quality.
The reason we need two ships is to make sure that one is always available at very high readiness to provide choice to the government. That choice ranges from hard military power, delivering carrier strike, right down to humanitarian aid or promoting UK trade and industry.