Babcock has begun work on the first phase of the contract to design and supply the Air Weapons Handling System (AWHS) for the UK’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS) announced recently by BAE Systems.
Under the full contract Babcock will design, manufacture, test and oversee the installation of the AWHS system on the 13 ships planned in the UK Type 26 GCS programme, as well as providing long term support functions to ensure through life system performance and availability.
The AWHS will have the capability to handle and stow all air weapons safely in a flexible stowage arrangement. The system is modular with interchangeable stowages between weapon types for maximum stowage density and flexibility. The AWHS includes a handling system to facilitate the positive control and transfer of munitions from their stowages to designated weapon preparation areas prior to their transfer onto aircraft or into torpedo launch systems, where fitted.
The AWHS contract will include all supporting systems required for handling and stowing air weapons within the air weapons magazine. This will include mechanical, electrical, electronic, pneumatic and software systems, as well as definition of all interfaces with the ship structure, combat system and weapons as required.
Press Release, June 26, 2014; Image: GE