Queen Elizabeth Class carrier construction underway at Portsmouth

Contributor: BAE Systems
Posted: 07/04/2011
BAE Systems
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Construction of the first Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier took a significant step forward, June 29, as the final rings of the forward hull section came together for the first time at BAE Systems' facility in Portsmouth Naval Base.

The hull block is made up of five rings in total, with the first rings joined in April, today's move marks the end of the three month process.

Steven Carroll, Queen Elizabeth Class Project Director at BAE Systems' Surface Ships division, said:

"Bringing together Lower Block 02 marks the beginning of an exciting stage in the block's life. The team will now begin the task of connecting the pipes, cabling, ventilation and machinery which runs throughout the block, before she is transported to Rosyth in April next year.

Today's move comes only four weeks after production commenced on the second aircraft carrier, the Prince of Wales, at the company's Govan shipyard on the Clyde. Additionally, workers in Portsmouth are gearing up to begin work on the forward island, which will house the ship's bridge and control vessel navigation, in the coming weeks.

BAE Systems is a member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, working in partnership with Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defence to deliver the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK. The company provides overall leadership and programme management to the QE Class programme and plays a central role in the design and build of the ships.

The QE Class will be the centre piece of Britain's military capability and will operate at least 12 of the carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter jets, allowing for unparalleled interoperability with allied forces.