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UK aircraft carriers contracts awarded

12-Mar-2009

The Alliance Management Board of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) has approved a revision to the build strategy that will deliver the UK’s two ‘Queen Elizabeth Class’ aircraft carriers.

The ACA has adjusted its plans for the manufacture of the two 65,000 tonne ships in order to meet the MoD’s budget requirements, reduce risk and protect core capability in the main UK shipyards. This adjustment is in keeping with the outcome of the MoD’s Equipment Examination of late 2008 and the decision to re-schedule delivery of the two carriers.

The new build strategy includes construction of the bow section by Babcock’s yards at Appledore and Rosyth; the stern section built by BVT Surface Fleet (BVT) on the Clyde; the overhanging upper hull structure will be manufactured by Babcock Marine and the two superstructure islands and other work will be built by BVT in Portsmouth.

The previous build strategy had planned for work at BAE Systems’ Submarine Solutions in Barrow, but existing and future workloads on submarine programmes have reduced its capacity to take on the additional carrier work.

ACA has also announced further shipbuilding orders worth up to £150M to UK shipyards – A&P Tyne on Tyneside and Cammell Laird on Merseyside have both been named as preferred bidders for the build of the large central upper blocks. This will secure further UK manufacturing jobs in addition to the £570M in equipment sub-contracts already placed with UK companies for the carriers.

For an in-depth feature on the carriers see the May issue of Air Forces Monthly.

Filed Under Military Aviation News.

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