The contract will see aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth return to Rosyth so Babcock can carry out maintenance work on her.
“We look forward to welcoming HMS Queen Elizabeth back to our facilities, where she was assembled, for her first docking and maintenance period. We continue to work closely with our MoD and Royal Navy customer on this national asset.”
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:
“After a phenomenal year of trials off the east coast of the US, this dry-docking contract is an important step for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she gears up for operations.”
Recently, engineers aboard sister ship HMS Prince of Wales at Rosyth turned on the ships diesel generators for the first time, say the Royal Navy.
Simon Lister, managing director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance added:
“To all involved – and that is a large proportion of the entire workforce – my thanks and congratulations on achieving the first diesel start. This has seen focused effort, great innovation, real perseverance in the face of setbacks, and a commitment to quality that has been truly impressive. These are becoming the hallmarks of HMS Prince of Wales. Great teamwork from a large number of groups and individuals. Well done, thank you, and now for the gas turbines!”
The builders are hoping the carrier will be leaving Rosyth dockyard for sea trials this year. The Aircraft Carrier Alliance are confident she will be ready for sea trials by November 2019.
Sir Simon Lister of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance said the ship is physically complete.
“We’re now at that stage of fitting out all the equipment inside the ship. Wiring it up, plumbing it up, and setting all that equipment to work. One of the powerful things about this contact is that any budgetary over-run is shared between the industry and government, so there is a very strong pressure to get this done at minimum cost to the taxpayer and companies,” he said.
“It’s our objective to finish this programme on time and as close to budget as we can.”
People I spoke to at Rosyth on my last visit told me that building HMS Prince of Wales has been “20% to 25%” faster than building its sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth. When on HMS Queen Elizabeth two years ago, we were told that the build of HMS Prince of Wales was expected to be around 8 months quicker thanks to “lessons learned” in the build process. The builders are already applying lessons from including improvements to the process of preparing its heat-resistant flight deck and installing an improved F-35 landing light systems earlier in the build process.
Recently, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance has successfully handed over the HMS Prince of Wales Navigation Bridge to the Royal Navy, a milestone originally planned for March 2019.