Unions are calling for more work at Rosyth after the HMS Queen Elizabeth maintenance project completes.

Earlier in the month, a contract was awarded that will see aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth return to Rosyth so Babcock can carry out maintenance work on her.

Babcock said:

“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.”

Prospect negotiations officer Jane Rose said:

“We’ve seen a steady reduction in staffing numbers at Rosyth over the last year as work on the Royal Navy’s other carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, nears completion.

It’s really good news that HMS Queen Elizabeth will return home for this maintenance work but we do need to see more commitment from the MoD to British yards to ensure that skills and sovereign capability are retained.”

West Fife MP Douglas Chapman added:

“Further down the line, we await UK decisions on Type 31 frigates and fleet support ships. Rosyth is in the mix to benefit from these contracts too. Again, I urge the minister to get on with coming to a decision on these contracts which would keep these valuable skills at Rosyth for a long time to come.”

Prospect’s Richard Hardy said:

“It’s great news and one we’ve been working toward with local parliamentarians and through contacts with the Scottish Government but the bigger issue here is making sure that the Rosyth dry dock has work to keep it from closing before Queen Elizabeth’s next planned refit.

We need the UK government to review its decision on competing for the contract for the Fleet Solid Support ships (FSS) which will support and replenish the carriers at sea internationally and we need a proper commitment from the UK government to their own National Shipbuilding Strategy. But for today, let’s celebrate this bit of good news and we look forward to seeing HMS Queen Elizabeth come home later in the year.”

Leave a Reply

13 Comment threads
41 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
28 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
captain P Wash.

I’m guessing that HMS Prince of Wales will also undergo Similar Maintenance after She completes her Sea Trials and Aircraft integration. I’d love to see them build ( Assemble ) the new MARS Ships too as they have Excelled building ( Assembling ) the Amazing Carriers.

why should scotland yards get these contracts? the production rate is appalling


Rosyth has been let down over many years by many Governments, If you look in the photo you will see the big hole in the ground that was meant to be the Trident submarine re-fit complex. That contract was awarded to Devonport Dockyard at the cost of millions to the tax payer. Rosyth deserves the work on Type 31 or Solid store support ships It is the yard that has refused to die despite the best efforts of many Politician’s over the year’s. So now is the time to pay it back for all it’s great work on the carriers… Read more »


I agree that Rosyth deserves more work. One of the problems has always been MOD stop start contracts which has lead to higher costs and a broken shipbuilding industry.


With our current budget and manpower shortages it isn’t going to happen, but a replacement for Ocean would be on my wish list for Rosyth. The mere thought of having to put a QE in littoral waters to conduct any kind of amphibious warfare scares the hell out of me.

To support this hard and others in the UK it is important that work on the R F A solid support ships is carried out in the UK. It will ensure employment for years to come. I have raised a petition seeking to support this. If you agree please sign it and write to your NO


To support this hard and others in the UK it is important that work on the R F A solid support ships is carried out in the UK. It will ensure employment for years to come. I have raised a petition seeking to support this. If you agree please sign it and write to your NO



signed by me with pleasure


I would support the solid support ships being built in the UK, as long as the difference in price vs say Korea is paid for by the Treasury not the MOD.
Call it economic development, job creation etc




signed by me with pleasure

Peter Shaw

The Fleet Solid Support ships should not go out to international tender. They should tendered only in the UK and we should try and make use of internal competition wherever feasible to drive down costs and improve productivity. We could also enable them to get financial rewards for increased productivity (investment in new technology). The UK just doesn’t have a proper industrial strategy like everyone else. For instance does anyone know the fact that Germany, France and Korea have substantially higher GDP spend on industrial subsidies. They just hide it whereas the UK obeys EU rules with regard to Germany… Read more »

Trevor G

Agree with all the above.

Your last sentence especially, even applies to the current negotiations with the EU…

Very well put. I agree totally which is why I created the petition. We are in danger of losing our shipbuilding capability. 60 years ago UK shipyards built 25% of the world’s ships. Now we dont. We do however have the ability to produce highly complex ships such as the carriers and submarine fleet. We to strengthen those skills and build more ships around the UK. I ‘d like to see my local yard at Appledore stay open. Focussing perhaps on smaller ships.

I thought it would be appropriate to create a small fleet of say, 8 ships based on the River Class hull for MCM. Perhaps use them to host the new autonomous minesweeping technologies, drones, and submersibles that are coming online gradually. I’ve seen CGIs of proposed future frigates carrying autonomous minesweepers, but I can’t see any reason why a smaller dedicated vessel couldn’t. Design it in the UK, build it at Appledore, and let the yard become a centre for the construction of smaller vessels – small patrol vessels, tugs for Serco, and border force cutters (criminal that our cutters… Read more »

Trevor G

I agree with that, the problem again comes back to having a national shipbuilding stategy. The politicians keep (under pressure from others) commissioning studies designed to inform a strategy (I know, I was involved in a Government funded study in the 70’s). These studies can produce useful long term frameworks which would work to the benefit of UK plc. Unfortunately, however sensible, report conclusions never survive beyond the first Treasury cost cutting cycle after their publication, so the strategy is DOA. The latest incarnation of this procedure is Sir John Parker’s report. He is arguably the best qualified person in… Read more »


That’s why the strategy report by Sir JP also stresses the need for exports and commercial orders. I also think the proposal to build hospital ships is a great idea, I don’t see why the MoD should be the only department supporting an industry strategy.


I know it’s just a concept so maybe it’s no good, too expensive in practice etc but BMT do seem like a good operation so I’d like to see the option of progressing BMT’s Venari 85 design thoroughly explored as well. It’s not just about British manufacturing, supporting our local design houses is very important as well.

BMT’s V85 paper is an interesting read both to see more details of the vessel proposed but also for the general discussion in the first half of the paper re various remote/autonomous minesweeping strategies. The paper is here…



That was re Lusty comment on MCM and River by the way.

Ah yes, the Venari 85. It looks a promising vessel. I had read about it before, but it had completely slipped my mind!

BMT also have SALVAS, which looks to be a decent replacement for the capabilities lost when Diligence was axed. It also houses the option for a built-in Submarine Rescue System, which would be a nice addition to the capabilities we already have in that field.


Lusty, We have no need for new MCM ships per se, This will be done by the MCM solution and for me run out of a T31. I would much prefer 25 T31’s instead of Rivers and MCM’s, as this gives us a better combat fleet and a standardised fleet that reduces cost. What I do think needs to be discussed is the sizing of ships and whether we should have a corvette. Without being prescriptive, if we accept that the 150m long T26 hull is the format for our destroyers (high end warships) and that we drop to a… Read more »


This may offend some of you, so please understand that I am not attempting to insult anyone in the UK. I just want to provide an alternate, outsider’s viewpoint and of British Industry. If you are offended, I apologize in advance. 60 years ago was when the reputation of British built products started going downhill. Whereas Japan, Germany, and Korea were rebuilding from the ashes of WW2, UK industry languished. It just seems by a bad combination of Governmental Ineptitude, and bad Industrial judgment, the products produced were “not up to snuff.” While countries like Japan, and now Korea built… Read more »

captain P Wash.

Rokuth. But, We can do It right when we try, Take Triumph Motorcycles. The Original Triumph company went the way of so many others as you correctly say above. Then a Builder decides to bring Triumph back to Life, this time though he Invested in all the right ways and now Triumph are a Global Player. Mr Bloor deserves a Knighthood If you ask me.


Agreed. If the rest of British industry could follow suit, it would be great. However, there is still the perception that needs to be overcome. Toyota still sells on their reputation of reliability and durability. However, their products are no longer the gems they once were. Other companies have surpassed Toyota but don’t sell as well because they don’t have the same reputation.


While the bulk of this is true keep in mind most of the naval technology, especially aircraft carrier technology used by all navies, finds its roots in the Royal Navy. While I applaud the UK’s reemergence as a naval aircraft carrier force, there is more of a need in destroyers, frigates, attack submarines and amphibious assault ships (ex HMS Ocean). The UK needs to double the RN from roughly ~33K to 60K. Increase the number of warships (destroyers, frigates, attack submarines etc). There is no other country I trust more than the Brits to have our backs in any conflict;… Read more »

Petition signed by this ancient mariner (RN to 1986) and forwarded to my daughter to sign and spread the word (current serving officer)


Its all very well demanding government contracts but we need yards to be winning commercial orders also, we need guarantees that once orders are placed the yards, unions and workforce will stop at nothing to be the most productive in the world. BAe has had TOBA in place for years but still has quality issues and is inefficient. Sir John Parkers report does not suggest there’s endless UK government money to yards, he makes it clear its a catalyst for yards to invest so the can win more exports and diversity. Sir John acknowledges in the report that guaranteed work… Read more »

Sea King AEW conversion programme. Compketed under budget, under time, original amount of Sea Kings converted and delivered. Although a few years ago.

David Flandry

Under pressure of wartime needs. Red tape eliminated, useless regulations ignored, unions cooperated. Those reasons don’t exist today.

off subject, is it time to reconsider the warships only built in the u.k policy and the submarines, will be nuclear powered only?

Paul T

andy reeves – my opinion is this ,my heart says no,but my head says yes.If front line Warships were offered to Foreign Tenders perhaps that would provide UK yards with the proverbial Kick Up the Backside some say they need to improve efficiency and quality but reduce costs.


One of the problems with Manufacturing in Britain as I see it is a lack of passion. You need passion in making anything and you need to be looking at the competition continually to ensure your product is as good or better. Passion and skill.


Of note it is worth looking at this petition below:


Freezing the programme for FSS to save thousands of UK jobs in an unstable time!!!