Second Royal Navy aircraft carrier receives navigation bridge

The Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier – the future HMS Prince of Wales – received its navigation bridge, five months ahead of schedule.

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance which is in charge of constructing the two carriers said the delivery of the bridge was originally planned for March 2019.

The Navigation Bridge is where the ship is commanded. When HMS Prince of Wales goes to sea, the bridge will be manned by the ship’s company and will include an officer of the watch aided by several able seaman acting as lookouts. The ship’s commanding officer, Captain Moorhouse and his Navigator will also be present on the bridge.

The bridge was completed on time through collaborative work between multiple trades including, Babcock production, Balfour Beatty, Ticon, the Mission Systems IPT and Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine.

The main challenge in completing the bridge, as explained by ACA, is that the space is particularly complex with a variety of different systems in a relatively small space. The systems span the full technology spectrum, ranging from a basic compass through to the complex integrated navigation and bridge system.

HMS Prince of Wales is currently scheduled to start trials in 2019 before commissioning in 2020.