BAE Systems Successfully Completes Planned Carrier Strike Group Overseas Support

(Image courtesy: LPhot Belinda Alker (Royal Navy))

BAE Systems has successfully completed the management and delivery of planned overseas support for the UK Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21). The carrier group left the UK in May and has been supported by BAE Systems throughout its deployment.

BAE Systems engineers and technicians have overseen the maintenance of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, Type 45 HMS Defender and HMS Diamond destroyers, and Type 23 frigates HMS Kent and HMS Richmond, in a number of countries along from the road to CSG21.

In addition to providing maintenance support to Royal Navy ships, BAE Systems also provided specialist support to ship combat systems and the fleet of F-35 aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Almost 100 engineers and technicians from BAE Systems and its partners have deployed around the world and on board ships to provide the support needed to keep CSG21 at sea.

A group effort

Supporting a large and diverse group of complex warships so far from their home port has required the close and careful coordination of several industries, the Department of Defense (MOD), foreign military and government organizations, as well as BAE Systems’ expertise.

BAE Systems managed one of the most critical elements of the operation: the Virtual Classroom Exit Management (COM) function, the cross-sector team responsible for overseeing and coordinating support for the entire strike group .

In addition to managing support efforts on five different classes of ships, the COM team coordinated organizations including the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S ), defense ammunition and several manufacturers of equipment and support. providers to provide effective and high quality support through the CSG21.

Experts from BAE Systems Air Division also worked closely with pilots and F-35 aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth to prepare them for deployment, and provided a synthetic training environment on the ship for enable UK Lightning Force and US Marine Corps pilots to quickly and easily update emergency procedures training and conduct mission rehearsals at sea.

BAE Systems engineers also supported the combat management systems, air traffic control system and communication systems of all Royal Navy ships throughout their deployment. Integration services were provided to the Maritime Integration and Support Center (MISC) in Portsmouth, allowing the systems to be tested together before and during deployment.

Deliver as required

The primary objective of the accompaniment period was to allow the strike group to remain at sea while maintaining the ships in optimal working conditions.

In early September, after careful planning and shipping of materials, BAE Systems led a team of highly skilled operators – consisting of 40 BAE Systems employees alongside a number of industrial partners, equipment manufacturers, MOD and Service Staff – in Guam in the West Pacific, to implement the final deployed support activities, working with local contractors and suppliers.

In addition to extensive maintenance checks on all ships, the team performed a series of essential work, including scheduled maintenance on HMS Queen Elizabeth’s aircraft engines and elevators. Work was also carried out on visual landing aids for Type 23 frigates and gas turbines for Type 45 destroyers.

In addition to the planned work, a team of 30 staff from BAE Systems had previously joined HMS Diamond in the short term in the Mediterranean to resolve an emerging technical issue. The team was able to take advantage of this to meet the maintenance needs planned before the scheduled date, by minimizing the number of days in port throughout the deployment.

Proud to serve

“Providing deployed support to CSG21 has been a complex and exciting project that we are proud to lead,” commented Jon Pearson, Director of Warship Support, BAE Systems. “We spent months planning and deploying resources and materials for CSG21 and were tasked with liaising with everyone from vendors to industry partners, MOD and the personnel from foreign bases. We have been flexible and nimble in the face of changing requirements, with the added complexity of the global pandemic. Our teams have responded admirably to these challenges, drawing on our extensive subject matter expertise, network of partners and global reach. We would like to thank our many industrial partners as well as the MOD and foreign governments who made this project such a success.

News from the sea, September 28

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