Alternative GOALKEEPER Now Out of UK Service
Information released by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in May indicates that the decision to equip the QUEEN ELIZABETH-class aircraft carriers with the Raytheon PHALANX 20mm Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) was made for reasons of maintaining commonality with in service weapons across the fleet.
In response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking the rationale for the decision, the MoD statement reveals that only HMS INVINCIBLE and ILLUSTRIOUS had previously been fitted with the alternative (30mm) Signaal GOALKEEPER CIWS – which had an out of service date of March 2017 – and both vessels have now been disposed of. “All other Royal Navy ship platforms fitted with CIWS have since received the PHALANX, and the single-source procurement decision made in the case of the QUEEN ELIZABETH-class (QEC) aircraft carriers was to maintain that commonality of fit so as to minimise any additional costs of maintenance and support by having a single CIWS capability in-service across the RN fleet,” the statement continued.
PHALANX is in service with the navies of the United States and 24 allied nations.