30 Sep 16. UK Royal Navy conducts study to plan amphibious capability integration in Queen Elizabeth carriers. Key Points:
• UK Royal Navy is developing a requirement and plans to augment the amphibious capabilities of its aircraft carriers, as directed in 2015 SDSR
• However, the primary role of the two ships remains the delivery of carrier strike operations
The UK Royal Navy (RN) is conducting study work to determine how to optimise the planned integration of an amphibious capability element into its Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
The two carriers – the future HM ships Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales – are dedicated to generating carrier strike operations. However, the size and scale of the 65,000-tonne platforms provides the flexibility to support additional roles.
In its 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the UK government stated its intent to “enhance a Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier to support this amphibious capability”.
Enhanced amphibious outputs, when integrated with the strike and air support capabilities inherent in the vessels’ carrier strike role, will enable the ships to conduct a range of tasks from the sea, including amphibious operations, commando and special forces raids, and counter-terrorism operations. For the carrier undertaking amphibious operations, the intent is for the ship to be able to deliver ashore by air an assault force up to two companies strong.
As reported previously, IHS Jane’s understood that second ship Prince of Wales would likely be developed to provide increased amphibious capability, but that the work carried out on Prince of Wales to meet this requirement would also augment the ability of lead carrier Queen Elizabeth to support amphibious operations. It seems likely that both ships will be modified in the same way to deliver broadly the same amphibious capability, in terms of improving the arrangement of facilities for an embarked military force (EMF). However, work on Queen Elizabeth will be completed post-delivery, whereas time remains available to re-organise the amphibious spaces on Prince of Wales prior to build completion and to implement the modifications in a more dedicated manner. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Sep 16. QinetiQ has signed an 11-year, £109m contract extension with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) to continue to develop and de-risk Royal Navy mission systems and infrastructure through integration and testing at Portsdown Technology Park, Portsmouth, UK. The renewal of the Naval Combat System Integration Support Services (NCSISS) contract, first signed in 2012, secures the site’s future as a UK Centre of Excellence for Maritime Mission Systems integration and testing, specialised analysis and technical expertise. Operating in collaboration with the Royal Navy, DE&S and BAE Systems, the contract will sustain around 280 jobs in the Portsmouth area, and will be accompanied by QinetiQ investment to modernise the facilities, equipment and ways of working at the Portsdown site to improve services to the MOD and attract new customers to the site. For over 45 years, Portsdown Technology Park (PTP) has integrated and tested complex combat and communications equipment and software for all Royal Navy warships prior to their deployment at sea. Recent examples of technology that has been tested and integrated with existing equipment using facilities at PTP include BAE Systems’ Artisan surveillance radar and MBDA’s Sea Ceptor missile.
Harriett Baldwin, Minister for Defence Procurement, said: “This contract with QinetiQ is great news for the Royal Navy and for jobs in the region. Our commitment to Portsmouth is demonstrated by the Ministry of Defence’s £100 million investment over the next six years*. With a rising defence budget we are ensuring that our armed forces have the equipment and support they need to keep the UK safe and secure.”
Steve Wadey, QinetiQ CEO, said: “This contract is recognition of Portsdown as an asset of