BAE Systems will provide essential mission system support to the UK Royal Navy’s largest ever warships, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, as part of an updated integration services agreement.
Through an addition to the Naval Combat Systems Integration Support Services (NCSISS) contract, BAE Systems will ensure both aircraft carriers are kept ready for operations by providing world class complex system engineering.
Richard Williams, BAE Systems Naval Ships Combat Systems Director, said: “NCSISS is a real success story for BAE Systems and provides essential support to the UK Royal Navy. Working in collaboration with QinetiQ and DE&S we have ensured the UK’s surface fleet is at peak operational performance and are pleased to extend that support to the nation’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.”
Jo Osburn, DE&S Head of Maritime Combat Systems, said: “Extending the NCSISS arrangement to include the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers has provided a facility to test and assure new capabilities ahead of instillation into the platform. BAE Systems’ role in supporting the Combat System Enterprise through NCSISS will enable agile Operational Support to this new Class of Warship for her current equipment as well as de-risking the addition of the new systems and equipments planned in the near to medium term.”
The Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) mission systems, comprising 62 individual sub-systems, are vital for the delivery of aircraft carrier operations and allow crews to assess and respond to threats, plan joint, air and maritime operations and manage aircraft movements.
Under the new agreement, known as NCSISS phase 2.2, both ships’ mission systems will be supported by engineers based at BAE Systems’ Maritime Integration Support Centre (MISC) in Portsmouth. From this dedicated support facility BAE Systems ensures the systems that enable both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales to effectively carry out their operations fully optimised wherever they are in the world.
The MISC has supported the QEC aircraft carrier programme since 2009 and played a vital role in preparing HMS Queen Elizabeth for her first of class flight trials. Opened in 2004 the MISC replicates key combat system equipment found on Royal Navy warships, providing them with shore integration services and support for their deployments across the globe.
Following a £10 million upgrade programme the MISC will be used to develop new technologies for BAE Systems’ INTeGEN combat system solutions.
As well as supporting in-service platforms NCSISS also includes support for future platforms such as the Type 26 Global Combat Ships being built by BAE Systems in Glasgow. Equipment testing for the first City class Type 26, GLASGOW, began at the MISC in July 2018.