The UK Royal Navy’s new operations room for the service’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier is ready for use two months earlier than planned.
Once operational, the new centre for HMS Prince of Wales will enable the carrier’s crew members to keep a watch for emerging threats, in addition to tracking the movements of the vessel’s F-35B Lightning II fighter jets and Merlin helicopters.
Furthermore, operators will be able to direct varied missions, ranging from intercepting hostile aircraft to striking targets on land or delivering humanitarian aid in a disaster zone.
Operations room manager Royal Navy chief petty officer Greg Connor said: “This milestone represents the heart of the warfare fighting elements of the ship coming to fruition.
“The warfare department now has its sights firmly set on preparing the ship and team as more and more systems are brought online.”
Engineers and technicians from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance worked in collaboration with Royal Navy experts to provide the operations room with necessary equipment and cabling in order to prepare it for use.
The Aircraft Carrier Alliance is a partnership established between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence.
Production manager David Scott said: “We had some of the best workforce available to us and with the team taking ownership of the area, we are able to deliver the compartments ahead of time and to a much higher standard than that previously achieved.”
Weighing 65,000t, the 932ft-long HMS Prince of Wales has a surface displacement of 72,300t and can travel at a speed of 27k at a range of 9,999nm.