The control centre of the British Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, the future HMS Prince of Wales, has been officially handed over to the vessel’s crew members.
The milestone marks a major step towards the completion of the aircraft carrier.
HMS Prince of Wales’ Ship’s Control Centre (SCC) will now be maintained and operated by engineers and technicians from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance following the transfer of control.
The Aircraft Carrier Alliance was previously responsible for constructing and fitting out the vessel.
The alliance has been established under a partnership between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), who are all involved in the development and delivery of the navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
It has completed the hand-over of the SCC to the sailors around 18 months before the vessel is scheduled to be formally delivered to the Royal Navy.
Commander Marine Engineering commander Pete Buckenham said: “Taking ownership of the SCC this early in the build programme is a significant achievement and testament to the collaborative and integrated approach between industry and the Royal Navy.
“Having the ability to operate from the SCC enables us to support industry through commissioning and trials activity, and to learn our ship, systems and equipment in preparation for sea trials and future operations.”
The aircraft carrier’s control centre plays an important role in managing the entire range of on-board machinery, from propulsion systems to sewage and water works.
A team of engineers has been deployed to constantly monitor the displays and read-outs round the clock and throughout the year until the vessel is decommissioned after 50 years of service.
The SCC serves as the headquarters for the ‘internal battle’ during wartime combat scenarios.
All information from around the vessel, including data related to damage sustained, fires, floods, breakdowns and casualties, are reported to the control centre.
The damage control officer uses this data to determine where to send repair teams, firefighters and first aid parties in order to ensure the ship is able to continue supporting combat operations.