Shipbuilding Returns To Merseyside As Work Starts On New Aircraft Carriers
Merseyside, UK – Ship building returned to the River Mersey today Monday July 26 when construction of the flight deck for the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth was officially started by Minister for International Security Strategy, Gerald Howarth MP.
The Birkenhead facility is the sixth UK ship yard to commence manufacture of the 65,000 tonne ship, with work already underway at BAE Systems in Glasgow and Portsmouth, at Babcock’s facilities in Appledore, North Devon and Rosyth in Fife as well as A&P Tyne in Hebburn on Tyneside.
Present at the event were Rear Admiral Philip Jones, Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff as well as over 100 members of the Cammell Laird workforce, including several apprentices who will be learning their trade while working on the Royal Navy’s future flagship.
Cammell Laird was awarded the £44M contract to build two huge sections of the first new aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance in late 2009 and since then much work has been underway at the facility to accommodate the manufacture of these huge steel structures.
ACA Programme Director Geoff Searle said; “This is a fantastic day for everyone at Cammell Laird and I am delighted to see work officially start in Birkenhead.
“The manufacture of this magnificent ship is already well underway right across the UK, with some great progress already being made, something which I am sure will continue at the hands of the Merseyside workforce.
“It is great to see construction start on the Queen Elizabeth on Merseyside, not only because it means that work is now underway in all six UK ship yards but also because it brings shipbuilding home to Merseyside after an absence of over ten years.”
Cammell Laird Managing Director, Linton Roberts said; “We are extremely proud to be involved in the building of this great national flagship. Not only does this project allow us to support the national effort, it also underlines the growing reputation and capability of Cammell Laird and our skilled workforce.”