With its Emergency Medical Ship design, Austal claims to have hit the sweet spot between cost and capability.
UK Carrier Strike Group: preparation, interoperability and maintenance (Video)
When the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG) set sail from Portsmouth on 1 May for its maiden deployment, it marked the beginning of Britain’s new hunt for allies and partners in the Far East.
Led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, the CSG also includes RN Type 45 destroyers HMS Diamond and HMS Defender, and the Type 23 frigates HMS Richmond and HMS Kent.
As announced by the MoD on 31 March, some international ships will also accompany the task force: the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate HNLMS Evertsen and the USN Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS The Sullivans.
The strongly armed CSG sails with a wide array of weapons and latest-generation technology to ensure interoperability, C2 communications and data flow between the different ships that form the group.
Equipment includes a 40-cell Mk 41 vertical-launch system for the SM-2 SAM, launchers for the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile, eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles and two Mk 32 Mod 9 launchers for MK 46 Mod 5 torpedoes.
The Queen Elizabeth class also features significant EW and sensor capabilities such as Smart-L long-range radar, APAR surveillance radar and Mk36 Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasure launchers.
Behind the maiden deployment of the CSG — the defining UK military operation of 2021 — lies several efforts carried out by the RN, the MoD and industry.
In this video report, Shephard speaks to BAE Systems, one of the companies that worked closely with the RN to prepare for the deployment of the CSG.
Head of Asset Management Dean Kimber, and Combat Systems Director Amelia Gould, provide insight into the capabilities offered by the aircraft carrier, including software integration and networking. They also highlight the maintenance processes involved to ensure that CSG safely returns home after its 28-week deployment.
Video credits: UK MoD/Crown Copyright, BAE Systems.
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