Britain’s biggest ever warship is fitted with three Phalanx weapons
Big guns are out for Big Lizzie: Britain’s biggest ever warship is fitted with three Phalanx weapons that fire 4,500 rounds-a-minute as ‘last chance’ defence
- Phalanx Close-In Weapons System features Gatling cannon, search and track radar and an infrared camera
- The system is capable of search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement and kill assessment
- The rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun can defeat anti-ship missiles and other close-in threats
- Ship armed with 3 Phalanx systems capable of emptying 1,550-round magazine at 4,500 rounds-per-minute
Britain’s most powerful warship has been bolstered with a formidable armament system capable of automatically tracking and destroying threats and shooting down enemy aircraft at short-range.
HMS Queen Elizabeth will boast three Phalanx 1B computer-controlled guns, which can empty a 1,550-round magazine at 4,500 rounds-per-minute against a range of threats on land and at sea.
The technology provides an early warning of attacks and has already been installed on all US Navy surface combatant ships, alongside vessels belonging to more than 20 allied nations.
The Phalanx 1B is able to identify and confirm incoming dangers and automatically carries out functions usually performed by multiple systems, including search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement and kill assessment.
The armament, which has been nicknamed ‘R2-D2’ because of its distinctive shape, is radar-controlled and is said to provide a ‘last chance’ defence for ships against anti-ship missiles and aircraft.
The Royal Navy’s £3billion carrier had the guns installed while docked in Portsmouth, ahead of her first operational mission which will take in the South China Sea, Mediterranean, Middle East and the Pacific.
HMS Queen Elizabeth at Portsmouth Naval Base having the new Phalanx 1B rapid-fire guns installed ahead of her first operational mission which will include the South China Sea, Mediterranean, Middle East and the Pacific
HMS Queen Elizabeth will boast three Phalanx 1B computer-controlled guns, which can empty a 1,550-round magazine at 4,500 rounds-per-minute against a range of threats on land and at sea
The Phalanx 1B is a rapid-fire radar and electro-optical guided gun, featuring a 20mm barrel, capable of firing 4,500 rounds per minute against anti-ship missiles and a range of surface threats
Designed to eliminate threats from anti-ship missiles and enemy aircraft that have pierced other lines of defence, the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System features include a 20mm M-61A1 Gatling cannon, search and track radar, infrared camera and control stations for visual tracking in the Block 1B model
HMS Queen Elizabeth -Britain’s largest and most powerful warship ever built – is now set to become even more formidable thanks to the advanced technology
The system is radar-controlled and is said to provide a ‘last chance’ defence for ships against anti-ship missiles and aircraft. It automatically detects, tracks and engages threats. To date, the United States Navy and 20 other nations have purchased more than 850 Phalanx systems
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Source: Navy Weapons, Raytheon, Forces Net and UK Defence Journal.
What is the Phalanx 1B?
The close-in weapons system fires live rounds during a training exercise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75)
The Phalanx 1B was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division.
Because of the Phalanx’s distinctive barrel-shaped radome and their automated nature, they are sometimes known by the nickname R2-D2 – based on the Star Wars character.
Designed to eliminate threats from anti-ship missiles and enemy aircraft that have pierced other lines of defence, the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System features include a 20mm M-61A1 Gatling cannon, search and track radar, infrared camera and control stations for visual tracking in the Block 1B model.
The rapid-fire technology has been installed on all US Navy surface combatant ships, alongside vessels belonging to over 20 allied nations.
Phalanx is described as ‘a self contained system’ requiring minimal deck space and wiring.
It combines search, detection, threat evaluation, acquisition, track, firing, target destruction, kill assessment and cease fire into a single mounting.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is being armed with three Phalanx systems, each one capable of emptying a 1,550-round magazine at 4,500 rounds-per-minute.
As the cannons are to be called upon as a last resort, the effective range is approximately nine kilometers.
Source: Forces.net and navweaps.com
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) fires a Phalanx close-in weapons system during a live-fire exercise in the Black Sea
Inside Britain’s most powerful warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth
At 280 metres long, with a lifespan of half a century and a flight deck of four acres, HMS Queen Elizabeth is Britain’s largest and most powerful warship ever built.
Here are the facts and figures behind the vessel which was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy December 7, 2017
HMS Queen Elizabeth, pictured, weighs some 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots and a four-acre flight deck
The vessel has a crew of 700, although that will increase to 1,600 when she has a full complement of F-35B jets
The Commanding Officer is Captain Jerry Kyd, pictured, who is responsible for guiding Queen Elizabeth through her sea trials
- The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed in excess of 25 knots.
- A number of ship building yards around the country were involved in the build – these include Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, Appledore in Devon, Cammell Laird in Liverpool, A&P on the Tyne in Newcastle and Portsmouth.
- A total of 10,000 people worked on construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth, Fife, where it was assembled.
- It is the second ship in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth.
- The ship has a crew of around 700, that will increase to 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.
- There are 364,000 metres of pipes inside the ship, and from keel to masthead she measures 56 metres, four metres more than Niagara Falls.
- Facilities onboard include a chapel, a medical centre and 12-bed ward, staffed with GPs, a nurse and medical assistants, as well as a dentist and dental nurse.
- There are also five gyms on the warship which include a cardiovascular suite, two free weight rooms and a boxing gym.
- Regular fitness circuit sessions and sporting activities such as basketball and tug of war are held in the hangar and on the flight deck, with weights and other items stored inside the flight deck ramp.
- Captain Jerry Kyd said his favourite part of the ship was the laundry, which he called ‘huge and bespokely built’.
- There are five galleys on the warship which is where the food is cooked and those on board eat their meals everyday. This includes two main galleys, the bridge mess and an aircrew refreshment bar.
- The distribution network on board manages enough energy to power 30,000 kettles or 5,500 family homes.
- Its flight deck is 280 metres long and 70 metres wide, enough space for three football pitches.
- The entire ship’s company of 700 can be served a meal within 90 minutes, 45 minutes when at action stations.
- Recreational spaces enjoyed by the crew feature televisions and sofas, as well as popular board games including the traditional Royal Navy game of Uckers.
- Each of the two aircraft lifts on HMS Queen Elizabeth can move two fighter jets from the hangar to the flight deck in 60 seconds.
- The warship has a range of 8,000 to 10,000 nautical miles, and has two propellers – each weighing 33 tonnes and with a combined 80MW output of power – enough to run 1,000 family cars or 50 high speed trains.
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