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First Phalanx Close-in weapon system installed on Royal Navy HMS Prince of Wales.

| 2020

According to a tweet released by the official Twitter account NavyLookout on July 2 2020, the British aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales has been equipped for the first time with the Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) manufactured by General Dynamics.
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First Phalanx Close in weapon system installed on Royal Navy HMS Prince of Wales 925 001 HMS Prince of Wales (R09) depart Forth for initial sea trials. (Picture source: Uk MoD)

HMS Prince of Wales (R09) is the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier. Unlike most large aircraft carriers, Prince of Wales is not fitted with catapults and arrestor wires, and is instead designed to operate V/STOL aircraft; the ship is currently planned to carry up to 40 F-35B Lightning II stealth multirole fighters and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare, although in surge conditions the class is capable of supporting 70+ F-35B. The design emphasises flexibility, with accommodation for 250 Royal Marines and the ability to support them with attack helicopters and troop transports up to and larger than Chinook size.

Defensive weapons include the Phalanx Close-In Weapons System for anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence and 30mm Automated Small Calibre Guns and Miniguns for use against fast attack craft.

For the record, the Royal Navy successfully tested the Phalanx Close-in Weapon System onboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth, for the first time on July 2019.

First Phalanx Close in weapon system installed on Royal Navy HMS Prince of Wales 925 002 HMS Prince of Wales fitted with Phalanx Close-In Weapons System. (Picture source: Twitter account: NavyLookout)

About the Phalanx CIWS:

The Phalanx CIWS is a close-in weapon system for defence against airborne threats such as anti-ship missiles and helicopters. It was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division, later a part of Raytheon. Consisting of a radar-guided 20 mm Vulcan cannon mounted on a swivelling base, the Phalanx has been used by the United States Navy and the naval forces of 15 other countries.

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