Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bow sections of Royal Navy's new carrier are ready

Bow sections of Royal Navy's new carrier are ready
April 6, 2010

The bow sections of one of the UK's two new aircraft carriers have been completed and are on their way to Rosyth, where the ships will be assembled.

The bow sections for the Queen Elizabeth carrier are travelling by barge from Babcock's Appledore shipyard in Devon to Rosyth in Scotland. The barge journey is expected to take six days.

The two sections will make up the bow of the ship, and together weigh about 400 tonnes.

The larger of the two sections, called the bulbous bow, is similar in size and shape to a conventional submarine, yet only a tenth of the full length of the ship.

It is designed to increase speed, fuel efficiency and stability, sitting just below the waterline to help the ship cut cleanly through the water, reducing drag.

The second section sits above, making up decks seven to five below the aircraft hangar.

Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, said:

"The progress we are making with the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers is not only good news for the Royal Navy it is good news for defence and the UK defence industry.

"This national project will sustain thousands of jobs in shipyards and in the wider supply chain.

"The carriers will be a cornerstone of future defence policy and a key asset for our Armed Forces as a whole, providing four acres of sovereign territory which can be deployed to support operations anywhere in the world."

Chief of Material Fleet Vice Admiral Andrew Mathews said:

"Seeing these sections, which are only a small part of the ship, makes the overall scale of the carriers clear.

"The transportation of the bow sections to Rosyth will be a key step in the construction of these hugely important ships.

"The two Aircraft Carriers of QE Class will provide the UK with a large, deployable airfield capable of projecting airpower globally, including fast jets, helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, to support Joint Operations for up to 50 years.

"It was important from the start of the project to achieve maximum efficiency using new construction techniques. For example, the ‘block integration' method has allowed us to build the ship in many locations simultaneously, reducing the time it takes to construct. It has the added advantage of spreading the economic benefits widely across the country."

Work now continues on the forward section of the ship, from the keel up to the flight deck.

Shipyards throughout the UK, including Glasgow, Rosyth, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Devon and Birkenhead are contributing to the project.

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