FIRST COMPARTMENTS OF FLAGSHIP HANDED OVER TO SHIP'S CREW
Mon, 14 March 2016
The Aircraft Carrier Alliance has successfully signed over the first compartments of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH to her crew, over a year ahead of when the ship is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy.
The six large compartments are the first sections of the ship the crew has taken ownership of and marks an important step towards delivering the nation's flagship.
The compartments are part of the dry storage areas for the catering teams and will be used to train the ship’s company in damage control including fire-fighting, flood and medical emergencies. Over the longer-term the catering teams will also use these compartments to train their people in using stores equipment, such as the portable electric transporters and lifts.
Allan Smith, the lead of this area of the ship, said: “This is a very proud day for everyone in the Alliance. There have been hundreds of people in every conceivable trade working on these compartments – from the time they were a part of Lower Block 03 being built in Glasgow to the fit-out and commissioning phases here in Rosyth.
“Compartments would normally be handed over after sea trials, so to achieve this at such an early stage, to the high quality and specification required by the Royal Navy, is a very significant milestone for the team.”
Lieutenant Commander John Ball, of the ship’s company, said: “Having the capability to start our damage control training on-board the ship so early is extremely exciting and will save us a vast amount of time. It will help us accelerate our learning opportunities and go some way to make sure our people are ready to operate the ship ahead of sea trials.
“While we could undertake similar training on-board other ships, there’s nothing like training on the actual vessel you’ll sail on as we learn the specialist techniques required to operate such a large and complex warship.”
Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Philip Dunne, said: “The UK’s new aircraft carriers are impressive feats of engineering, brought to life by the best of British shipbuilding skills. This latest milestone marks the demonstrable progress being made in the progressive handover of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH to the Royal Navy crew, allowing them to conduct vital training before taking this state-of-the-art vessel to sea.
“The carriers, supported by our £178 billion investment in equipment for our Armed Forces, will spearhead Britain’s sea power for the next five decades, protecting UK interests both at home and abroad.”
The carriers 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.
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.
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