A large ocean-going barge will carry the flight deck modules, which weigh more than 3,500 tonnes, known as Centre Blocks 02 (CB02), from Cammell Laird to Rosyth where the aircraft carrier will be assembled. In total five UK shipyards are involved in building the ship. Cammell Laird is due to complete the construction of further modules which will be sailed to Rosyth later in the year.
Cammell Laird has spent the last fortnight preparing the flight decks for their sail away. Over the coming days, the enormous structures will travel up the coast of Britain before arriving into Rosyth. On arrival, CB02, will be prepared for integration with the other sections of HMS Queen Elizabeth already at the Rosyth assembly site.
Cammell Laird Chief Executive John Syvret CBE said the company is immensely proud to be delivering the first phase of the £44m two year project on time.
“This is a terrific contract for the company to work on and I pay tribute to our staff and suppliers who are working enormously hard with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance to deliver these magnificent flight decks,” he said. “It showcases our world class engineering facilities including our construction hall which is one of the biggest and best equipped in Europe. It further shows the depth of our workforce’s skills and expertise. Moreover, it has given our 80 strong team of apprentices invaluable experience. As our future workforce it is vital we continue to invest in young people giving them the skills our industry, and our region, needs to drive long term economic growth. Importantly the contract has also enabled us to invest heavily in our supply chain improving their ability to support our growth.”
Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts said: “The successful delivery of the first phase of the contract will help reinforce our campaign to promote the Cammell Laird brand worldwide. We are actively looking to win more marine work including ship repair, conversion, refit and ship building. We are further looking to secure more heavy fabrication work in the civil nuclear, off shore renewables and engineering markets.”
The aircraft carriers HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence. BAE Systems has an overarching role in managing the QE Class programme, as well as playing a central role in the design and build of the ships.
The QE Class will be the centre piece of Britain’s military capability. Each 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier will provide the armed forces with a four acre military operating base which can be deployed worldwide. The vessels will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.