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Babcock converting Phalanx for use of British carrier

Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems are being converted back to their maritime configuration and upgraded for use on the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

By Richard Tomkins
Babcock converting Phalanx for use of British carrier
The Phalanx close-in weapons system fires during an exercise aboard a U.S. Navy ship. (U.S. Navy)

LONDON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Britain's new aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, is to be fitted with Raytheon's Phalanx weapon systems for close-in defense.

The three systems for the carrier will be provided by British engineering firm Babcock International, in association with Raytheon, which will deliver and install Phalanx 1B kits to convert the systems to their original configuration for maritime use. The kit also upgrades the system.

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Babcock said a kit for a fourth Phalanx system will be delivered under the Ministry of Defense contract.

Babcock is the in-service support provider to the Ministry of Defense for Phalanx systems, managing and performing all support activities and providing logistics support for spares and repairable units. It said it will procure the Phalanx 1B systems in partnership with Raytheon, and will also undertake the land-based Phalanx weapon system conversions using Babcock weapons support engineers.

The systems are to be delivered by March of next year.

"Following the successful on-schedule delivery of a similar contract last year, we are delighted to have this further opportunity to apply our expertise and work with Raytheon to help the MOD and Royal Navy build the Phalanx CIWS capability it needs."

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Phalanx CIWS is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20mm Gatling gun system. The Phalanx 1B upgrade incorporates a side-mounted Forward Looking Infra-Red Camera that enables the system against surface targets and slow air targets in addition to anti-ship missiles.

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