A Radar, First-of-its-Kind Fitted in U.K Aircraft Carrier


A highly advanced 3D radar system vested with special features such as detecting objects as small as a tennis ball, capability to travel three times the speed of sound more than 23 kilometers ( 82,000 feet) away has been designed and developed by the BAE systems.  And U.K. Royal Navy’s future aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has been successfully fitted with this first-of-its-kind radar system.

The new aircraft carrier is to become the flagship of the Royal Navy with the best radar technology to deliver air traffic management, provide the aircraft carriers with unparalleled control of the skies around them with uncompromising carrier strike capability anywhere in the world.  As a matter of fact, the installation of the radar system onto the HMS Queen Elizabeth has taken two and a half years.

This Artisan 3D radar system will take care of the air traffic management and provide proper awareness to the aircraft carriers besides controlling the skies around them.

It is built with certain special abilities which are as follows:

  • Capable to monitor more than 800 objects simultaneously from 200 meters (650 feet) to 200,000 meters (656,000 feet)
  • Equipped to cut through radio interference equal to 10,000 mobile phone signals
  • Can deliver uncompromising air defence and anti-ship operations on the Type 23 frigate and helicopter carrier.

Les Gregory, Director for Products and Training Services at BAE Systems said: “Artisan is a ground-breaking radar system that delivers real capability to the Royal Navy in its supreme accuracy and uncompromising tracking.  In addition, its world-leading electronic protection measure ensures that even the most complex of jammers will not reduce its effectiveness.  We have already seen the radar perform excellently on the Type 23 frigates and are proud to be able to bring this advanced technology to the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers utilising its air traffic management capability for the first time.

Royal Navy’s future aircraft carrier -the largest ship ever built with:

  • A height of 56 meters (184 feet), taller than Niagara Falls;
  • A length of 280 meters (920 feet) with a flight deck the size of 60 tennis courts;
  • A 70 meter (230 feet) wide deck that could fit four jumbo jets alongside each other;
  • A range of 10,000 nautical miles and carries enough fuel to transport a family car to the moon and back twelve times.

The sea trials will begin from 2017 and First of Class Flying Trails for helicopters and the F-35B Lightning II (starting 2018).  HMS Queen Elizabeth will undertake a coherent buildup towards achieving an Initial Carrier Strike Capability in 2020.

HMS Prince Of Wales, the second of this type of vessel is scheduled to be operational in 2023.   Aircraft Carrier Alliance will be used to deliver both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince Of Wales in unique and distinctive partnership made among BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the U.K. Ministry of Defence.


Source: BAE Systems