The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a £5.5m contract to BAE Systems to install a new vessel traffic management system at Portsmouth Harbour and the Eastern Solent.
The new development, which is in preparation for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, is aimed to assist in the controlling and monitoring of all ship movements within the port area.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the UK Royal Navy’s first Queen Elizabeth-class (QE) aircraft carrier that is scheduled to be commissioned in May 2017.
UK Minister of State Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said: "A huge amount of investment is under way right across the naval base to get Portsmouth ready for the arrival of our HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in early 2017, including refurbishing the base’s jetties to ease access for the ships and installing new power supplies.
"This new system, to help control and monitor ship movements within Portsmouth Harbour and the Eastern Solent, is an essential part of these upgrades."
The new installation will provide the carrier’s harbour master and the vessel traffic service team with the situational awareness to control the vessels in their operational area.
It will feature a range of sensors including four radars, an automatic identification system, 17 high-definition CCTV cameras, a high-performance thermal camera, six metrological sensors, and four hydrological sensors.
The installation work is expected to be completed in early 2016.
In addition, Dunne has officially started the first of its four diesel generators at the home of the UK’s aircraft carrier programme in Rosyth, Scotland. The navy is expected to begin sea trials for the carrier in August 2016.
Image: The new installation will assist in the controlling and monitoring of all ship movements within the port area. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.