NAVAIR teams completes PALS certification on Queen Elizabeth

by Richard Scott

A team from the US Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR’s) Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA-213) has completed certification of the precision approach and landing system (PALS) fitted to the UK Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth ahead of the ship’s first operational deployment in late May.


        An F-35B prepares to land aboard the RN carrier HMS 
        Queen Elizabeth
        . In March, the Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office completed a critical step in readying the ship for its first operational deployment with PALS certification. 
       (US Navy)

An F-35B prepares to land aboard the RN carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth . In March, the Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office completed a critical step in readying the ship for its first operational deployment with PALS certification. (US Navy)

The PALS includes the AN/SPN-41B instrument carrier landing system (ICLS), previously supplied under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case, and the AN/USN-3 joint precision and approach landing system (JPALS) system. JPALS has been installed on board as a US asset to support the embarkation of F-35B aircraft from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA -211) as part of the forthcoming Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) deployment.

Early phases of the PALS installation were supported remotely by the Naval Air Warfare Center Webster Outlying Field (NAWCAD WOLF) Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems (ATC&LS) Division. Once the initial installation activities were completed, the NAWCAD WOLF team travelled to the United Kingdom in early February to finalise the installation.

The NAWCAD WOLF team was joined by members of Naval Test Wing Atlantic ATC&LS Test Branch, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX 23) to complete the at-sea portion of the certification during March. The ATC&LS Test Branch is the certification authority for all US ships: in this specific case, it took on a similar role for the US-owned JPALS installed on board Queen Elizabeth, while also supporting certification recommendations for FMS installed systems.

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A team from the US Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR’s) Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Progr...

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