A huge wave of work spanning the last two years and culminating in successful sea trials in the last few weeks, has seen Combat Systems teams collaborate and successfully deliver a 'super release' of software updates to both QEC Carriers, providing them with the latest capabilities required for their Carrier Strike Group and NATO deployments in 2022 and beyond.
A ceremony was held to honour HMS Prince of Wales’ new NATO role.
Image Crown Copyright
The main updates delivered to the Royal Navy and NATO Flagships are:
Shared Infrastructure (SI) system updates to host additional mission system capabilities
Tactical Data Links integration updates to broaden interoperability with task force platforms
Combat Management System updates to enhance security and performance
Under a seven year Joint Service Support 2 (JSS2) contract, BAE Systems teams have partnered with Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and the Royal Navy, providing the latest capability and availability to the mission systems of the UK Royal Navy fleet, ensuring platforms are safe, secure and ready to complete their tasking.
Steve Carter, Combat System Equipment Programme Delivery Director, BAE Systems, said: “These last few months have been incredibly busy preparing this 'super release'. Our teams have worked tirelessly to collectively develop, integrate and deliver the required upgrades and updates to the Royal Navy in a short space of time, to bring detailed, complex changes to the mission systems of the QEC Carriers.
“The most crucial of these updates has been to the Tactical Data Link interfaces, which are critical to enabling the ships’ to communicate and share data with other Royal Navy platforms and allies, essential for ensuring interoperability.”
Commodore Phil Game Royal Navy, Head of DE&S Maritime Combat Systems, commented “The Carrier Strike Group deployment last year was hugely successful as a national endeavour, energising our diplomatic, trade and security partnerships. We need to build on this and deliver improved capability to our platforms with pace and agility, as demonstrated in this ‘super release’."
The next stage is the deployment of the same capability updates to the Type 45 Destroyers who will accompany the QECs on their respective deployments this year. The T45 Destroyers’ changes have successfully passed their Factory Acceptance Testing and are now at BAE Systems' Maritime Systems Integration facility undergoing formal Combat System Integration activity ahead of their Platform Harbour and Sea Trials.