Tue, 22 December 2015

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance welcomed the final section of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier to the Babcock Rosyth Facilities on Sunday 20th December following its voyage from Glasgow, ten weeks ahead of schedule.

The final section being delivered, known as the Aft Island, weighs 750 tonnes and will control aircraft operations aboard HMS PRINCE OF WALES. The journey took it 1,335 miles around the south coast of England in order to reach its destination in Fife.

Angus Holt, HMS PRINCE OF WALES Delivery Director, said: “This is a momentous day for everyone working for the Alliance across the UK and there’s a real sense of excitement to see the final section arrive under the iconic Forth Bridge. Not only is it completed ahead of schedule but it’s also been finished to an incredibly high standard. This is testament to the dedication, skill and ingenuity of all those working on the programme.” 

Rear Admiral Henry Parker, Defence Equipment & Support Director of Ship Acquisition, said: "Today is a significant step in the aircraft carrier programme. This is the final piece in the jigsaw for HMS PRINCE OF WALES and the culmination of a lot of hard work on the Clyde. We are delighted to have all of the blocks finally in Rosyth and are looking forward to the Aft Island being lowered onto the flight deck forming the iconic shape of the ship."

144 wheels, 16 axles and a single remote control will be used to drive the Aft Island from seagoing barge onto the dockside. It will then be lifted onto the HMS PRINCE OF WALES flight deck by the Goliath Crane, which can lift a maximum of 1,000 tonnes.

The Queen Elizabeth Class are the first aircraft carriers in the world to use an innovative twin-island design. The Aft Island is responsible for the ship’s mission systems and act as an aircraft control tower. And the Forward Island contains the bridge and is primarily responsible for the command of the ship. While each island has a primary role, both are able to incorporate the other’s role in an emergency, increasing the survivability of the ship.

The Queen Elizabeth Class will be the centrepiece of Britain’s maritime 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.

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 Ministry of Defence. A national endeavour, at its peak the programme directly employed 10,000 people across six build yards. While manufacturing and commissioning is now solely focussed in Rosyth, the skilled and diverse workforce is sourced from across the country, including many from BAE Systems in Glasgow and Frimley. 

Issued by:
BAE Systems plc
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719
24 hour media hotline: +44 (0)7801717739

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