Aircraft Carrier Alliance awards sub-contracts

The alliance responsible for delivering the UK’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers is awarding four more sub-contracts worth almost £33.2m.

A total of around £1.5bn worth of sub-contracts have been awarded by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), which includes Babcock, BAE Systems, Thales UK and the Ministry of Defence, for building the new range of Royal Navy aircraft carriers known as the Queen Elizabeth Class.

Once fully built the 65,000 tonne carriers will be three times the size and double the width of existing ships with a range of 8,000 to 10,000 nautical miles. Once in service the new class of ship will be capable of holding 40 aircraft.

Each ship will rely on six main electrical generators that together can generate 80MW of power.

The first carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, is due to enter service in 2016.

Seven UK suppliers have recently been awarded contracts for providing a number of vital services and parts for the ships, including the massive storage facility near Glasgow where components and equipment for the ships will be securely stored prior to being fitted on to the aircraft carriers.

That contract, worth £18m, was bestowed to Wiltshire-based logistical and distribution service Wincanton.

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services have been awarded a £15m contract to install cables and containment on the modules being constructed at the Scottish district Govan prior to final integration at the coastal town of Rosyth. Once the ships are completed a reported 2,500km of cable will be installed.

A contract worth over £44,000 has been awarded to Glasgow based company Edmundson Electrical for glands, which are used to pack and make airtight the cables that run throughout the ships.

Jetway Associates of Wiltshire has been awarded a contract for £137,000 for the supply of hose baskets, which form part of the fire fighting equipment on the ships.
The award of these contracts by the ACA takes the programme to build the QE Class a stage further forward, adding several more companies to the supply chain.

Geoff Searle, the ACA programme director, said the alliance has been making ‘excellent’ progress over the last 12 months in the build of the Queen Elizabeth and across the supply chain.

‘We have currently placed around £1.25bn worth of contracts with companies right across the UK, which means that the majority of contracts to supply parts for these impressive ships have now been agreed,’ he said.

‘Earlier this week, we officially welcomed Cammell Laird in Birkenhead on to the build programme when the first vertical steel plate for the flight deck was laid at the Merseyside facility. This means that all six UK ship yards involved in the programme have now begun work and it’s great to see such tangible progress being made.’