HMS Prince of Wales’ operations room comes online two months ahead of schedule

The second of two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers, the future HMS Prine of Wales, now has a functional operations room – two months earlier than it was intially expected.

The operations room will allow the crew of HMS Prince of Wales to watch for threats, track the movements of the carrier’s F-35B Lightning jets and Merlin helicopters and direct missions as varied as intercepting hostile aircraft, to striking targets on land or delivering humanitarian aid in a disaster zone.

Chief Petty Officer Greg Connor, the Ops Room manager, said allowing his team to move in to the complex was “a momentous occasion.”

“The Warfare Department now has its sights firmly set on preparing the ship and team as more and more systems are brought online,” he continued.

It’s the latest key part of the ship to be finished and handed over to the crew to run; watches are already being run in the Ship Control Centre, which oversees the marine engineering aspects of the 65,000-tonne carrier. The ship recently also received the BAE Systems-delivered Artisan 3D radar system.

In all, more than 3,000 compartments have to be signed off before the carrier leaves her berth at Rosyth to undergo sea trials next year in the hands of a combined Royal Navy-civilian crew.