As Tex Special Projects complete the flying control room (FLYCO) and glazing installations on the second QEC aircraft carriers, UK F-35 Lightning jets land onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time. With a wing span of 10.7 m (35 ft), 15.4 m (50.5 ft) in length and a 42.7 m’ (460 ft’) wing area, the F-35 is capable of speeds up to 1,200 mph. The single engine swivels 90 degrees during short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) mode and the F-35 hangs eerily in the air as LiftFan blasts 20,000 pounds of unheated air towards the deck.
Construction of India’s first home-built carrier, INS Vikrant (“courageous”), also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1 (IAC-1) is well under way. Designed by the Directorate of Naval Design of the Indian Navy, it is the first warship to be built by Cochin Shipyard in Kerala, India.
Approximately 83% of the fabrication work and 75% of the construction work had been completed at the time of launching, and 90% of the body of the vessel has been designed and made in India.
Tex Special Projects and Pratex Power Vision Pvt Ltd – India’s leading supplier of marine glazing solutions – are designing and project managing the installation of the ultra-high specification glazing, frames and ancillaries. INS Vikrant will benefit from the various technological advances offered by Tex Maxiview Tempest Glazing, winner of the BAE Systems Innovation Award for unique control room glass.
Tex Special Projects have recently completed work on the second of two giant carriers for the UK, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. Unlike most aircraft carriers, the QEC carriers have two islands (towers); the forward (bridge) houses the ship’s navigation and the aft is the flying control room, dubbed FLYCO, designed and project managed by Tex Special Projects. Within the FLYCO, supersized, floor-to-ceiling windows give the crew an unparalleled view of the flight deck, and elsewhere on the ship, Tex Maxiview Tempest Glazing protects the vessel from blast and electromagnetic interference.
The Indian Navy and the Royal Navy have formed the Carrier Capability Partnership, with the aim of developing joint capabilities and assisting India’s carrier programme, and in March ’19, the commander and the highest-ranking officer in the Indian Navy, Admiral Sunil Lanba was welcomed aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Defence giant BAE Systems have hosted several Indian Navy delegations and reportedly offered to license the UK carrier design to the Indian Navy.
Danielle Hele, Project Engineer
“My passion for both design and technology led me naturally into my career in Engineering. It enables me to be involved in many stages of product development and achieve a balance between creative and technical design. I have always been interested in the generation of new concepts but, for me, they need to be tangible and achievable. As an engineer I like to understand how these ideas can be realised and continually develop them to achieve the best solution. My role as Project Engineer at Tex ATC allows me to do this and I thoroughly enjoy working here. It is a friendly Company, our projects are interesting and unique and we are continually developing ideas to improve our products and service.”
Established in 1996, Tex ATC Division are the world-renowned supplier of air traffic control rooms, VCR refurbishment, and bespoke structural, engineering and glazing system solutions for military and civilian applications. Projects include flying control rooms for the Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, glazing and ancillaries for India’s first aircraft carrier, Muscat International air traffic control room – the city’s tallest building – and the Tex MV8 Series modular/prefabricated air traffic control rooms.
The commander and the highest-ranking officer in the Indian Navy, Admiral Sunil Lanba was welcomed aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of UK’s new aircraft carriers. The Indian Navy and the Royal Navy have formed the Carrier Capability Partnership with the aim of developing joint capabilities and assisting India’s carrier programme.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones commented: “I am sure we will be able to develop further synergies in our respective future carrier strike capabilities. The important thing is that by developing these capabilities in tandem, we build in a level of interoperability. When combined with our regular operational interaction and exercises such as the hugely valuable Konkan series there can be no doubt we will be increasingly well placed to work together across the full spectrum of Naval activity – from disaster relief to high end warfighting.”
Weighing in at 65,000-tonnes, HMS Queen Elizabeth is longer than the Houses of Parliament and her flight deck could accommodate three football pitches; she is the biggest warships ever built for the Royal Navy. Still under construction, the second of the Queen Elizabeth class carriers, HMS Prince of Wales will enter active service from 2020.
Admiral Sunil Lanba was given a tour of HMS Queen Elizabeth and introduced to some of the many advanced features of Britain’s new carriers. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect are the twin islands and especially the futuristic form of the aft island which serves as a flight control tower. Dubbed the “Flyco”, the innovative air traffic control room was designed and manufactured by UK’s Tex Special Projects.
The first aircraft carrier and largest warship ever to be built in India for the Indian Navy is the INS Vikrant (meaning “courageous”). Design work began in 1999 and construction at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) is expected to be completed by late 2020. India’s Pratex Power Vision Pvt Ltd and Tex Special projects are designing and managing the installation of the ultra-high specification glazing and ancillaries on the INS Vikrant.
Subsidiaries of UK manufacturing group Tex Holdings, Tex Special Projects and Tex ATC specialise in radio frequency-blocking glazing for both civilian and military applications and the design and manufacture of air traffic control rooms. Clients include BAE Systems, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Feka, Morgan Sindall, NATS and Thales. Tex ATC have been employed as consultants on numerous air traffic control room projects including Manchester Airport (UK), Mina Mussafah Harbour, Abu Dhabi (UAE), Muscat International Airport (Oman), RAFO Thumrait (Oman) and Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport (Thailand).
Main picture: The Chief of the Indian Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and The Chief of Naval Staff, The First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.
100 years after the design of HMS Hermes – the world’s first aircraft carrier – F-35 stealth jets will take off from another record breaker this autumn. Weighing in at 65,000-tonnes, HMS Queen Elizabeth is longer than the Houses of Parliament and her flight deck could accommodate three football pitches; she is the biggest warships ever built for the Royal Navy. Still under construction, the second of the Queen Elizabeth class carriers, HMS Prince of Wales will enter active service from 2020.
A BBC news article The UK’s Giant Aircraft Carriers illustrates a century of extraordinary shipbuilding and explains some of the many advanced features of Britain’s new carriers. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect are the twin islands and especially the aft island which takes the form of a flight control tower. Dubbed the “Flyco”, the innovative air traffic control room was designed and manufactured by Tex Special Projects.
Subsidiaries of UK manufacturing group Tex Holdings, Tex Special Projects and Tex ATC specialise in radio frequency-blocking glazing for both civilian and military applications and the design and manufacture of air traffic control rooms. Clients include BAE Systems, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Feka, Morgan Sindall, NATS and Thales.
Tex ATC have been employed as consultants on numerous air traffic control room projects including Manchester Airport (UK), Mina Mussafah Harbour, Abu Dhabi (UAE), Muscat International Airport (Oman), RAFO Thumrait (Oman) and Suvarnabhumi Bangkok International Airport (Thailand).
What makes HMS Queen Elizabeth so unique? Three years in the making and with unprecedented access, a new BBC series tells the story of “Britain’s Biggest Warship.” Series 1:1 “Crewing Up”, first shown 15 April 2018 on BBC 2, documents Captain Jerry Kyd and his 700 crew as they embark on seal trials in the North Sea.
Tex Special Projects designed, manufactured and integrated the innovative HMS Queen Elizabeth “FLYCO” visual control room and installed the navigation windows. Specialists in EMC/EMI/RFI shielding, IR screening, acoustic attenuation, and ballistic/impact resistance, Tex Special Projects design bespoke structural, engineering and glazing systems for both military and civilian application, and undertake research, design and development for leading edge engineering consultancies.
Tex Special Projects are a division of Tex ATC, the world-renowned supplier of air traffic control rooms, prefabricated VCR’s and VCR refurbishment.
“Britain’s Biggest Warship”: now available on BBC iPlayer.
“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.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s new 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier and the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy, is soon to be formally commissioned into the Royal Navy fleet by Her Majesty the Queen. Tex Special Projects designed and manufactured the innovative Flying Control Room (FLYCO) and installed the glazing throughout the ship. Over 10 years’ of feasibility studies, design and Finite Element Analysis was carried out at Tex’s UK site.
Harriett Baldwin explained “Soon our sailors will be watching, through these panes of glass, our F-35 fighter jets take off to defend our country. Our new aircraft carriers are a floating example of British industrial ingenuity and have helped to boost local businesses right up and down the UK.”
Chris Parker, Director reported “Tex Holdings have long been involved in a variety of Ministry of Defence projects such as designing visual control rooms within air traffic control centres for Royal Air Force and Royal Navy air stations across the UK. For this project we had to design and overcome some very demanding technical challenges, delivering a near uninterrupted 290-degree field of view of the flight deck, which is unparalleled in any nation’s warships. We feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of this very prestigious capital project. For 12 years we have provided our technical expertise and supplied the FLYCO and all the ship’s windows, wipers and blades. Without the Queen Elizabeth Class programme the Special Projects Company would never have been formed, so we are extremely grateful for the exceptional opportunity it afforded us.”
Other Tex ATC Division projects include the air traffic control room at Manchester Airport, towers in UAE, and the visual control room at SBIA Bangkok, the world’s tallest control tower.
INMEX SMM India 2017 was a great success and Tex Special Projects would like to send out a big thank you to colleagues, partners, clients and industry leaders from 32 countries. Once again INMEX has proved to be an unrivalled venue and allowed us to demonstrate our unrivalled expertise in advanced glazing systems for both military and civilian application.
The Tex Special Projects stand featured UK’s Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier, the biggest and most powerful warship ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and showcased the technologically advanced FLYCO (Flying Control Room) designed and manufactured by Tex. In recognition of the contribution to both the project and the innovation of such an advance in glazing for the maritime environment, Tex Special Projects was awarded the industry coveted BAE Systems Design Award.
Key members from the Pratex Power Vision Group were able to attend (see picture at top of page), including (from left to right) Shankar Mathur (Director, Pratex Power Vision), Ratee Prasad (Managing Director, Pratex Power Vision), Amanda Ritchie (Technical Consultant), Stephen Codd (Managing Director, Eurotex International), David Ritchie (Technical Consultant, Tex Special Projects), and Greg Chadwick (Managing Director, G&M Tex).