HMS Queen Elizabeth
In July 2010 Cammell Laird began a two-and-half-year project to build the flight decks for the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier the HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Cammell Laird was awarded the £44m contract by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance in late 2009 and began an extensive process of preparing its facilities, including its modular construction hall, to accommodate the manufacture of these huge steel structures.
In May 2012 the company completed the first five modules of the project known as Centre Block 02. These massive modules weighing between 583 tonnes and 927 tonnes each and a combined weight of 3500 tonnes were transported by ocean-going barge on a five day journey from Cammell Laird to Rosyth on the east coast of Scotland where the carrier is being assembled.
The final two of a total of nine upper block units constructed by Cammell Laird, known as Centre Blocks 04C and 04D, left the shipyard in March 2013.
Cammell Laird managing director Linton Roberts said the company is immensely proud to deliver the two-and-a-half year multi-million pound project on time and to budget.
“This has been a terrific contract for the company to work on and I pay tribute to our staff and suppliers who have worked enormously hard with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance to deliver these impressive structures. He said: “It showcases our considerable engineering facilities including our module construction hall, one of the best facilities of its kind in Europe. It further shows the depth of our workforce’s skills and expertise and has also given our 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. The successful delivery of the contract will help reinforce our campaign to continue to promote the Cammell Laird brand worldwide.”
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 centrepiece 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.