“Imagine the glass of a flying control tower so strong that it could withstand a strike equivalent to a direct hit from the blade tip of a Chinook helicopter… The FLYCO provides the operators with an unparalleled operational working space, with three metre tall specially glazed panels, giving more than 290 degrees of view over the flight deck… Welcome on board HMS Queen Elizabeth.”
Read more about this feat of engineering in a special Thales tribute to the late Mike McCarthy who was the Managing Director and lead designer at Tex Special Projects for the Queen Elizabeth Class programme.
UK’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, entered service in Portsmouth today, 7 Dec 2017. The Queen, ship’s company and 3,700 guests attended to see the Royal Navy White Ensign raised on the vessel for the first time.
Tex Special Projects designed and manufactured the innovative Flying Control Room (FLYCO) and installed the glazing throughout the ship.
The Queen described the ship as “… the most powerful and capable ship ever to raise the White Ensign. At the forefront of these responsibilities will be the men and women of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, supported by the Army, Royal Air Force and by coalition partners. As the daughter, wife and mother of naval officers, I recognise the unique demands our nation asks of you and I will always value my special link to HMS Queen Elizabeth, her ship’s company and their families.”
Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, described how today’s events confirmed Britain’s place “… among the world’s great maritime powers in the most majestic and muscular terms.” He added: “We have been on a long, complicated – but committed – journey to get to this point and commissioning the ship is a key milestone. The point of the big grey ship is it’s enormously big, flexible, capable and adaptable. The Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will sit at the heart of a modernised and emboldened Royal Navy, capable of projecting power and influence at sea, in the air, over the land and in cyberspace… ”
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “Congratulations from the Royal Air Force to the Royal Navy on achieving another important milestone in the UK’s Carrier Strike capability. I know the RAF and RN F-35 crews are looking forward to starting to fly from HMS Queen Elizabeth next year.”