British shipyards look set to lose out on a £12m contract to modify the aircraft carrier Invincible following cuts imposed in July’s Strategic Defence Review.
The modification, to expand the flight deck and create extra space below deck, is being performed on the Illustrious, a similar carrier, in a £12m programme at Fleet Support (FSL), which runs the navy’s Portsmouth repair centre.
FSL said last week that since the defence review the chances of such work taking place on the Invincible, as originally planned, have reduced to ‘fifty-fifty’.
The work may now be postponed until Invincible’s next full refit, to be carried out at Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard sometime after 2001. This would follow Rosyth’s completion of the two-year full refit of Britain’s third carrier, Ark Royal.