The British Ministry of Defence has invested in a €51m system to automate and track the movement of large quantities of munitions on board two new aircraft carriers.

The contract to supply the Highly Mechanised Weapons Handling System (HMWHS) will be managed by Babcock International Group.

The HMWHS provides mechanical handling facilities for moving palletised munitions around the magazine and weapon preparation areas. A control system is also used to integrate all systems and track the locations of pallets.

The contract includes the manufacture and installation of the HMWHS, the supply of uptakes and downtakes systems for both of the ships, the development and supply of air traffic control software, wholesale pump integration and the addition of emergency diesel generators.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Baroness Taylor said in a press release that an equipment programme of this scale has clear benefits not only to the Royal Navy and UK shipyards but to industry throughout the country.

“It truly is a national project. Defence Equipment and Support continues to work closely with industry to deliver the capabilities our armed forces need for now and the future,” said Taylor.

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The technology will be installed on HM Ships Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales.

By Daniel Garrun.