Babcock has completed the first docking and maintenance period on HMS Queen Elizabeth at its Rosyth site.

Earlier in the year, Babcock won a £5 million contract for this dry-dock maintenance work. The carrier underwent a planned hull survey and maintenance of her underwater systems over a six-week period at the company’s Rosyth site.

After the planned six-week work package was successfully delivered, the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier departed Rosyth smoothly through the specially designed roller-fender system at high tide into the River Forth.
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales together at Rosyth, image via Babcock.
As the assembly site for the UK carrier programme, the Rosyth facility has had significant investment over recent years to support the new QE Class, which combined with the workforce’s deep and proven knowledge of the platforms, has underpinned the efficient delivery of this first docking period. Sean Donaldson, Babcock’s Managing Director of Energy and Marine, and the Rosyth site, said:

“Working closely alongside the Royal Navy, we understand the importance of ensuring that HMS Queen Elizabeth remains in optimum condition and are delighted to have undertaken the first ever docking and maintenance period here in Rosyth. Seeing the two carriers back on site together was quite a moment for our workforce, we have a real affinity with these vessels and this is a fantastic achievement for everyone who played a part in this important work.”

A 100-strong team undertook the docking period, which included replacing 284 hull valves and renewing all cathodic protection electrodes and anodes, as well as painting the hulland carrying out work on the stabilisers, rudders and shaft lines.

Due to enter the service in 2020 after extensive whole ship trials, HMS Queen Elizabeth has a four-acre flight deck and two propellers weighing 33 tonnes each. She is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft, as well as state-of-the-art weaponry and communications systems.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will now soon sail to conduct further sea trials ahead of deploying again later this year for ‘WESTLANT 19’, where she will embark British F-35B jets for further tests.

She will deploy operationally in 2021.

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Rosyth “won” the contract. Really? Who else was in the running?

Paul T

Article says Babcock won the contract but yes Rosyth is the only facility that can do the work,could another contractor have used the same Dock ?

Andy P

Its the ‘language’ that gets used. Its a bit onanistic for me but hey ho. As said, where else was it going to happen. I think Rosyth Dockyard are still looking to sell the crane too.

John Berry

Babcock have bought the crane.

Andy P

Thanks for letting me know, that’s hopeful anyway.


Thank god! When I heard the big blue crane was for sale I though India would buy it just like they bought all of those ship yard cranes in Newcastle!! We need the dam big blue cane if we have any chance of the FSS ships job!!…


I have the feeling it won’t just be British aircraft launching from our carriers. The QE will be the leading ship when it deploys to the South China Sea with support from the US. The UK doesn’t have to have full ship when it’s allies can fill it for us.

The Big Man

Finally a picture (not best perspective) of the QE and PoW.

andy reeves

no leaks this time