Babcock has delivered the final pair of hydraulically-operated lift doors for the highly mechanised weapons handling system (HMWHS) in support of the UK Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales.
Capable of providing mechanical handling facilities to connect the magazines, hangar, weapon preparation area and flight deck, the HMWHS also provides weapons lift capabilities for moving palletised munitions around the deep magazine and weapon preparation areas.
Before delivering the components for installation, the doors underwent factory acceptance testing to validate all operational movements and sensors, as well as seals with a grease or chalk test.
The seals will now undergo further water pressure testing, following completion of the installation phase.
Aimed at reducing through-life costs and enhancing safety, the technology uses automated systems with all-electric control, adapted for safe transport and stowage of munitions in a warship environment.
Babcock senior project manager Jayne Page said the doors would enable munitions to be delivered in bulk to the point of use at rates that could not be achieved by manual handling.
"The overhead handlers, for the preparation areas and store, are currently in detail design and will be delivered towards the end of the installation phase," Page added.
Four pairs of magazine doors will be fitted onto each Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier at Babcock’s Rosyth shipyard.
The two 280m-long and 74m-wide Queen Elizabeth-class frigates will have a full-load displacement capacity of 65,000t and the capacity to carry 40 aircraft with a total runway area of 13,000m².
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are scheduled to enter service in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
Image: Illustration of the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. Photo: file image.