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HMS Prince of Wales sailors take control - of control centre

18 June 2018
The heart of HMS Prince of Wales is now in the hands of the men and women who will watch over it as the second of the UK’s new carriers takes a big step towards completion.

The Ship’s Control Centre has been formally handed over to the crew to maintain and run by engineers and technicians from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance who’ve built and fitted out the ship.

They gave the ship’s company the keys to the compartment 18 months ahead of when the ship is formally handed over to the Royal Navy.

“If the bridge of a ship is considered its eyes, and the operations room its brain, there is no doubt that the Ship’s Control Centre is the beating heart,” said Cdr Pete Buckenham, Commander Marine Engineering.

All the carrier’s machinery – from propulsion to sewage and water works – are controlled from the SCC, with a team of engineers watching over the displays and read-outs 24 hours a day, every day, until the warship decommissions in 50 years’ time.

If the bridge of a ship is considered its eyes, and the operations room its brain, there is no doubt that the Ship’s Control Centre is the beating heart,

Cdr Pete Buckenham

And in time of war, the SCC becomes the headquarters for the ‘internal battle’ – it’s where all information from around the ship about damage sustained – fires, floods, breakdowns and casualties – are reported and the damage control officer determines where to send repair teams, firefighters and first aid parties with the goal of keeping the ship in the fight.

“Compartments are normally handed over after sea trials, so to achieve this at such an early stage, to the high quality and specification required by the Royal Navy, is a very significant milestone for the team,” explained Sterry Matthews, ACA production manager.

Cdr Buckenham added: “Taking ownership of the SCC this early in the build programme is a significant achievement and testament to the collaborative and integrated approach between industry and the Royal Navy.

“Having the ability to operate from the SCC enables us to support industry through commissioning and trials activity and to learn our ship, systems and equipment in preparation for sea trials and future operations."

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