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UK MoD accelerates Crowsnest airborne warning programme

3rd February 2014 - 16:51 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers being built for the Royal Navy will have operational Crowsnest early warning systems by 2019 following the renegotiation of the Aircraft Carrier contract. This will see the Crowsnest systems installed on the navy’s upgraded Merlin Mk2 helicopters 18 months ahead of schedule.

Crowsnest uses high power radar to provide long-range air, maritime and land tracking capabilities.

The Ministry of Defence has awarded Lockheed Martin UK a £24 million contract to run a competition to design, develop and demonstrate Crowsnest.

The decision to bring forward the Crowsnest Airborne Surveillance and Control programme has been made as part of the annual review of the MoD’s Ten Year Equipment Plan. The MoD said the acceleration of the programme to ensure it is operational by 2019 will save £22 million.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, said: ‘Crowsnest will provide vital surveillance and intelligence to protect the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. The introduction of Crowsnest 18 months early will ensure HMS Queen Elizabeth has the full range of capabilities when it enters service. This announcement is a good example of improved financial management in MoD allowing us to respond to new requirements as they arise.’

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