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March 14, 2022

UK Royal Navy installs atomic clock on HMS Prince of Wales

The aircraft carrier is the first surface ship to be equipped with the technology.

The UK Royal Navy has fitted its second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales (R09), with an atomic clock.

HMS Prince of Wales will trial the quantum technology during the Norwegian-led winter exercise, Cold Response, in which 35,000 troops from 28 nations will take part.

The atomic clock will provide pinpoint precision to the vessel throughout the exercise.

Teledyne e2v and BP have worked together with the Royal Navy to equip the quantum technology on the carrier.

Compared to the GPS systems, the new laptop-sized quantum technology provides more accurate time signals. This will allow the combat systems onboard to synchronise well.

Besides, quantum technology is a reliable back up when operating in challenging environments and where GPS is not accessible.

Time precision is important for the safety of the ships and helps to carry out different operations at sea.

UK Royal Navy Office of the Chief Technology Officer lieutenant colonel Scott Wallace said: “The Royal Navy, BP and Teledyne have shown that bringing customers, industry and experts together can accelerate sovereign technology for the benefit of the country.

“Putting leading-edge quantum equipment into the front line is a game changer for the UK.”

According to the Royal Navy, this is the first time a surface ship has been equipped with the quantum technology.

It was installed before the vessel departed for the multinational exercise.

Atomic clocks, being small, can also be equipped on other ships of the UK Royal Navy. It can even be carried easily by the Royal Marines Commando Force.

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