BAE develops mobile application to navigate Royal Navy’s largest ships

27 March 2014 (Last Updated March 27th, 2014 18:30)

BAE Systems, which is working on the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, has developed a novel app, called Platform Navigation, to enable engineers aboard the vessels to better plan routes and avoid getting lost.

Platform Navigation app

BAE Systems, which is working on the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, has developed a novel app, called Platform Navigation, to enable engineers aboard the vessels to better plan routes and avoid getting lost.

Platform Navigation was created by BAE Systems to assist the crew in navigating the unprecedented scale and complexity of the ships, while increasing efficiency and safety on board.

BAE Systems Naval Ships managing director Mick Ord said: "These are the largest and most powerful warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy so we need to keep finding smarter, safer and more efficient ways of working.

"Platform Navigation is a truly innovative device as it provides greater visibility within complex environments so that employees can concentrate on the task in hand, which for us means delivering the nation's flagships."

Conventional GPS navigation does not work deep inside the steel hull, so the encrypted application was introduced and relies on 3,600 QR codes located at compartment entrances all over the ship.

When users scan the QR code and type their destination, the app displays the best route.

"When users scan the QR code and type their destination, the app displays the best route."

The Platform N0av is designed for people who visit the ship less frequently, or for engineers visiting other parts of the ship with which they are unfamiliar.

The two aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince Of Wales, are expected to enter service in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

With an operational range of 10,000nm and the capacity to carry 40 aircraft with a total runway area of 13,000m², 280m-long and 74m-wide Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will have a full-load displacement capacity of 65,000t.


Image: BAE Systems develops mobile navigation application for the Royal Navy. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.

Defence Technology