820 Naval Air Squadron
In 2017, Lockheed Martin (LM) was awarded a £269m contract to deliver the Royal Navy’s CROWSNEST Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) programme.
As the prime contractor, LM is responsible for the overall design and development of CROWSNEST, which will provide a vital surveillance capability to support the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.
CROWSNEST uses a high power radar to provide long-range air, maritime and land tracking capabilities that will ensure early detection of potential threats and vital surveillance for the entire fleet.
This capability will be role fitted onto the Merlin Mk2 helicopters and will embark in HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES.
CROWSNEST incorporates an updated version of a Thales Searchwater radar and Cerberus Mission System which are deployed as role fit kits along with the Merlin Mk2 helicopters. This will allow the Royal Navy to adjust the configuration of the airframe depending on the mission. The first CROWSNEST aircraft is due to deploy on Carrier Strike Group 21.