The future shape of aviation on board frigate and destroyer-sized vessels is being put under the microscope in a study by BAE Systems for the UK Ministry of Defence.

The two-year study covers current and future naval vessels and any findings are likely to be applied to the UK Royal Navy's future surface combatant, due to enter service from around 2013, and on later vessels of the Type 45 destroyer, the first of which is under construction.

A BAE Systems team under marine technology and materials manager Nigel Osborne is looking at all aspects of systems that deliver an air capability, including flight deck and operations; facilities such as the hangar and workshops; aircraft moving equipment; and human factors.

One major aspect of the study is unmanned air vehicles (UAV) operations. The team is likely to recommend a containerised system that can be embarked as necessary, rather than creating integrated facilities within the vessel.

Osborne commented: "This 'whole system' approach will ensure that the key drivers are given appropriate consideration during the design and in-service phase of future ships.

"Simple recommendations, such as electronic manuals, changes to ships' services layouts and standardised operating procedures and improve spares support could significantly enhance aircraft and ship capability."

Source: Flight Daily News