�333m of contracts awarded for new super Aircraft Carrier work

Contracts worth £333 million have been awarded by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) to companies across the UK to help to build the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

Five sub-contracts have been awarded to suppliers from Glasgow to Portsmouth for equipment to be installed on the ships and services for their assembly, bringing the total value of sub-contracts awarded so far on the programme to almost £1.1b. These contracts and sub-contracts represent the vast majority of the equipment orders for the Queen Elizabeth class carriers and demonstrate the progress made on the programme to date, the MoD claimed today.

It said that the two future aircraft carriers will form the cornerstone of the UK's naval capability and will be the largest, most capable and powerful warships ever constructed in the UK. They will be a highly versatile and potent joint defence asset, able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world throughout their expected service life of around 50 years.

Sub-contracts have been awarded by the ACA to:

* Imtech Marine & Offshore Ltd in Billingham, Teesside and Portsmouth for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, worth £120m;
* Ship Support Services Ltd based near Rosyth for paint and scaffolding for the build process, worth £105m (SSS Ltd is a joint venture formed between Pyeroy in Gateshead and Cape in Wakefield);
* Henry Abrams in Glasgow for transport of sections of the ship from the yards across the UK to Rosyth for final assembly, worth £85m;
* Tyco in Manchester for fixed fire fighting systems, worth £15m; and
* AEI Cables in Birtley, Co Durham for much of the 2,500 km of cabling to be installed, worth £8m.

Minister for defence equipment and support Quentin Davies said: "This news should reassure those who doubt this government's commitment to the programme. These sub-contracts will contribute thousands of jobs throughout the supply chain in addition to the thousands of jobs at the main shipyards which are building the ships.

"The build phase of the carrier programme is now well under way. The first units have already been delivered to Rosyth where these ships - the cornerstone of the Royal Navy of the future - will be assembled."

ACA programme director Geoff Searle added: "I am delighted to announce these substantial contracts for work on the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier programme, covering the vital services that run throughout the ships, as well as essential elements of the actual shipbuild process itself. Most of these contracts, placed for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance will support local economies and jobs throughout the UK regions.

"The ACA has achieved many substantial milestones in the last 12 months, including commencing work on the build of HMS Queen Elizabeth in four UK shipyards and completing work on the huge Number One Dock in Rosyth where the ships will finally be assembled. Continuing this level of momentum is essential and the signing of these contracts is testimony that it will continue through 2010 and beyond."

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