UK Carrier build gains momentum
The Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) is forging ahead on the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class, having recently made contract awards worth £325 million that will drive momentum into the ongoing build of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
On 14 January, Secretary of State for Scotland, Jim Murphy MP visited Govan to welcome the contracts which have been placed in Scotland. Following the visit, he said:
"These contract awards are great news for Glasgow, the Scottish economy and Scottish jobs. There has never been any doubt how important the aircraft carriers are to Scotland as a multibillion pound project securing thousands of jobs."
The contracts have been awarded to five new suppliers to the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class Aircraft Carrier Programme and will provide a number of vital services and parts for the ships, including fire fighting equipment and the transportation for the massive super blocks from the build yards across the UK to Rosyth for final assembly.
The award of these contracts by the Alliance is a clear indication of the progress that is being made on the QE Class programme and the momentum achieved in 2009. In total, the Alliance is expected to award around £1.5 billion of contracts across the programme.
Jim Murphy MP shown plans for HMS Queen Elizabeth by ship manager John Morrison
Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies said:
"This news should reassure those who doubt this Government's commitment to the programme. These sub-contracts will contribute thousands of jobs throughout the supply chain in addition to the thousands of jobs at the main shipyards which are building the ships.
"The build phase of the Carrier programme is now well under way. The first units have already been delivered to Rosyth where these ships - the cornerstone of the Royal Navy of the future - will be assembled."
The innovative ACA is a single integrated team formed from Babcock, BAE Systems, Thales UK and the MOD (which acts as both partner and client). It is responsible for delivering the Queen Elizabeth Class ships to time and cost.
HMS QE taking shape at Govan
The contract to build the two new Aircraft Carriers for the Royal Navy was signed on 3rd July 2008. The carriers will be the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed for the UK and represent a step change in Joint Capability. They will enable the delivery of increased strategic effect and influence around the world, at a time and place of the UK's choosing, and will be a key component of the improved expeditionary capabilities needed to confront the diverse range of threats in today's security environment.
Despite those that love to be merchants of doom, this progress report gives a clear indication of just how well the ships are progressing. They are on time, and seem to be on budget, as well as having ongoing political support.
It's great to finally see some photos of the beast herself, and shows just how massive she will be. That photo shows only the lowest keel section, but already dwarfs the beam of Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan seen in the background (which is no dinghy at >8000tonnes).