NWI - Naval Warfare

Queen Elizabeth Class carrier radar begins testing

9th September 2013 - 14:21 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Artisan 3D radar being developed by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers has commenced integration trials on the Isle of Wight. The trials will test a series of integrated systems which include the provision of 3D air surveillance, target identification and air traffic management services for the ships.

The Artisan 3D is medium-range radar system with a reach of up to 200km. It will provide extensive air traffic control and medium range tactical picture capability for the QEC aircraft carriers. It will be capable of tracking more than 900 targets at one time and has the ability to spot objects as small as a tennis ball travelling up to three times the speed of sound.

According to BAE Systems, the radar is providing 'real world' tracks and radar video to the QEC Combat Management System, whilst receiving simulated 'own-ship' data in the QEC Mission System Test Facility.  Artisan 3D is being successfully controlled from CMS consoles to provide operators with both a medium range tactical picture and the air traffic control picture the ships will rely on.

In addition to the strong integration results, the system is operating successfully with the QEC Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, which can identify aircraft as friendly and track its range from a potential threat.

Les Gregory, product and training services director, BAE Systems, said: ‘I am delighted that the Artisan 3D radar is producing excellent results as predicted for the QEC, it is an exciting milestone not only in the development of BAE Systems radar programme but for the future of Royal Navy warships.’

The radar system completed its factory testing in December 2012 and was installed at the Aircraft Carrier Alliance Electromagnetic Environment Assessment facility at BAE Systems, Cowes, earlier this year.

The aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence. The first ship will begin sea trials in 2017.

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