UK signs £30m maintenance contract for Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers
Image credit: pa
In an announcement that should support around 300 Scottish jobs, the UK government has approved a £30m contract to provide dry dock maintenance for Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.
The 10-year agreement will ensure that the two warships – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales – are able to undergo dry dockings for planned maintenance and repair at Babcock’s Rosyth facilities.
The Ministry of Defence said the work will help to sustain 300 jobs across the facility and the wider supply chain.
The 65,000-tonne carriers cost taxpayers £3bn each and are used to launch the F35 Joint Strike Fighter fast jets across the globe.
The lead ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was commissioned in December 2017, followed by the HMS Prince of Wales in December 2019.
The construction of the two carriers involved more than 10,000 people from 90 companies, 7,000 of them in the six shipyards building the sections of the ships.
Defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin said: “The Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers are the flagships of our Royal Navy and it’s crucial they remain ready to protect and defend the UK and our allies.
“Both carriers had their final construction in Rosyth and I’m pleased they will return for their dry dock maintenance, supporting vital jobs and skills in Scotland.”
The vessels require dry docking periodically throughout their lives to undertake maintenance and repair activities. They recently took part in various training exercises for the navy in waters close to the UK.
Steve Coates, DE&S Queen Elizabeth Class Group Leader, said: “The work that will take place will help to sustain vital jobs and skills at the Rosyth shipyard where the carriers were built and, by drawing on an extensive supply chain, will contribute to wider UK prosperity.”
Sean Donaldson, a managing director at defence firm Babcock, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide dry dockings for the aircraft carriers over the next decade.
“The investments in our Rosyth infrastructure and facilities over the last 10-years mean we are ideally placed to deliver projects of this size and scale. The programme will also benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of Babcock’s skilled workforce which is steeped in carrier experience.”
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