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4 décembre 2014 4 04 /12 /décembre /2014 13:50
Defence Secretary gets update on aircraft carrier project


1 December 2014 Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP


Michael Fallon visited Scotland to see the progress being made in building the UK's Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers.


While visiting the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, in Rosyth, Mr Fallon met with the project team to discuss the build progress of the second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was formally named by Her Majesty the Queen in July this year, is currently being fitted out in Rosyth dockyard before arriving in Portsmouth.

Assembly of HMS Prince of Wales is also well underway. Speaking from the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Mr Fallon said:

I came here to see for myself that the project is on track and on time to give Britain carrier strike capability, with HMS Queen Elizabeth operating with new F-35 planes by 2020.

These carriers will spearhead Britain’s sea power for the next 50 years, keeping the nation safe at home and protecting our interests abroad.

These magnificent ships are testament to the skill of the British shipbuilding industry and have created jobs not only in Rosyth and Scotland but across the UK. Our investment demonstrates the Government’s commitment that UK warships are only built in UK shipyards.

Work on the QEC carriers has created or sustained around 8,000 highly skilled jobs.

In Scotland alone, the QEC work has helped to directly support some 4,000 jobs and hundreds of apprentices at the Rosyth and Clyde shipyards.

With the MOD having invested some £2.66 billion in the programme at these shipyards so far – it is clear that Defence is making an unequivocal and continuing commitment to Scottish industry.

Ian Booth, Managing Director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, said:

We’re incredibly proud to be delivering the nation’s flagships and delighted to have the opportunity to show the Defence Secretary the progress we’re making on both ships following the naming ceremony in July.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has now reached an important engineering milestone which allows us to bring all her systems to life and HMS Prince of Wales, which only started assembly in September here in Rosyth, is now more than 40% complete.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will be handed over to the Royal Navy in 2017 and are expected to enter service by 2020.

With an expected service life of up to 50 years, the QEC carriers will be highly versatile and powerful joint Defence assets, able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world.

They are the largest, most capable and effective surface warships ever constructed in the UK.

The Defence Secretary also reiterated that there has been no change in the delivery programme for the F-35B strike aircraft which will fly from the carriers.

The phased approach to ordering F35 is working, with the first batch on track to enter initial maritime operating capability alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth in December 2020 as planned.

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3 juillet 2014 4 03 /07 /juillet /2014 16:50
Industry leaders gather to celebrate Royal Navy's new carrier

HMS Queen Elizabeth at the dockyard in Rosyth - Picture Aircraft Carrier Alliance


2 July 2014 Ministry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support and The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP


The Defence Secretary has thanked the defence industry for their help in building the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier.


Speaking at an event ahead of the HMS Queen Elizabeth naming ceremony this Friday, Philip Hammond told more than 200 business leaders that the sector should be proud of its work on the biggest ship ever built for the Royal Navy. HMS Queen Elizabeth is also the biggest ship in Europe and the largest outside the US fleet.

In his speech to the Institute of Directors, the Defence Secretary thanked the tens of thousands of workers who have been involved in constructing the aircraft carrier at shipyards and companies across the UK.

The 65,000-tonne vessel will be christened this week by Her Majesty The Queen during a ceremony at the dockyard in Rosyth, near Edinburgh, where she has been assembled.

HMS Queen Elizabeth under construction at Rosyth dockyard
HMS Queen Elizabeth under construction at Rosyth dockyard in Scotland (library image) [Picture: Andrew Linnett, Crown copyright]

Mr Hammond said:

The engineers, designers, steel-cutters, welders, plumbers, electricians, software writers and the many other trades that are required to build complex warships, from Rosyth to Appledore, from the banks of the Clyde to the shores of the Solent; together they have demonstrated what a united Britain can accomplish.

As a warship in service, she will not just be a military capability but a giant floating advertisement for the high calibre of Britain’s manufacturing and industrial base. The Queen Elizabeth will demonstrate that not only can we punch above our weight militarily, but also that we have the skills and ingenuity in this country to rival any in the world.

For half-a-century, she will be an enduring symbol of our commitment to play a leading role on the global stage. Those who have worked on this great vessel should take great pride. They have not just built a new flagship of the Royal Navy, but a flagship for the nation.

The forward island section of HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth Naval Base
The forward island section of HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth Naval Base (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Dave Jenkins, Crown copyright]

During the event, the first commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Captain Jerry Kyd, was presented with a bottle of Scottish whisky that will be used to christen the vessel on Friday.

The bottle of Islay malt whisky, from the first distillery the Queen visited in 1981, will replace the more traditional champagne, reflecting the fact that the ship has been assembled in Scotland.

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4 février 2014 2 04 /02 /février /2014 17:50
New surveillance system for Royal Navy aircraft carriers

Computer-generated image of flight deck operations on the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth [Picture Aircraft Carrier Alliance]


3 February 2014 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support


Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will get helicopter-borne early warning systems 18 months earlier than planned, saving £22 million.


Following renegotiation of the aircraft carrier contract to deliver savings to the taxpayer, the Defence Secretary has accelerated the Crowsnest airborne surveillance and control programme to ensure it is operational by 2019.

Using high-power radar to provide long-range air, maritime and land tracking capabilities, Crowsnest will be an integral part of future carrier operations. It will be fitted to the Royal Navy’s fleet of upgraded Merlin Mk2 helicopters, including those to be embarked on the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.

The decision to bring forward the Crowsnest programme has been made as part of the annual review of MOD’s 10-year equipment plan. The plan, worth £160 billion, includes unallocated funding to support equipment requirements that may arise as threats emerge or priorities change.

New surveillance system for Royal Navy aircraft carriers
Computer-generated image of Merlin helicopters operating from a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier [Picture: Copyright Aircraft Carrier Alliance]

The shorter delivery time for Crowsnest will lead to a significant reduction in costs, as specialist industry personnel will be required for a shorter period of time.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

Crowsnest will provide vital surveillance and intelligence to protect the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

The introduction of Crowsnest 18 months early will ensure HMS Queen Elizabeth has the full range of capabilities when it enters service.

Lockheed Martin UK, which designs the Merlin helicopters, has been awarded a £24 million contract to run a competition to design, develop and demonstrate Crowsnest.

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13 novembre 2013 3 13 /11 /novembre /2013 08:50
Royal Navy aircraft carrier ramping up

The 300-tonne section of ramp is lifted onto the Queen Elizabeth [Picture: Aircraft Carrier Alliance]


11 November 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support


The final section of the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth has been fitted onto the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier.


Pictures released by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance today show the ramp section, which will allow jet aircraft to take off from the ship, being lowered into place at the shipyard in Rosyth, Scotland, where the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers are being constructed.

The 300-tonne section of ramp, which is 64 metres long and 13 metres wide, is the final exterior piece of the aircraft carrier to be fitted. At its highest point, the take-off ramp is 6 metres above the flight deck, which will allow aircraft to be propelled into the air.

The pictures come on the same day as MOD announces that a fourth Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft has been ordered from Lockheed Martin. The UK has already taken delivery of 3 Lightning II jets and Royal Navy and RAF pilots are training on the aircraft in the USA.

This fourth jet, which is specially designed to be a test aircraft, will help boost the ongoing training available.

The forward ramp section in place on the Queen Elizabeth
The forward ramp section in place on the Queen Elizabeth at the shipyard in Rosyth [Picture: Aircraft Carrier Alliance]

Earlier this year, the first take-off at sea by a UK pilot in a Lightning II took place during a week of trials aboard the United States Marine Corps’ amphibious assault ship USS Wasp.

Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, said:

We are on track to ensuring carrier strike capability by 2020. Both the completion of the take-off ramp and the announcement of the contract for the fourth jet show the tremendous progress being made to ensure that the Royal Navy will have a modern carrier force.

Not only are these jets the most advanced ever operated by our armed forces, but the programme is worth over £1 billion to UK industry each year and will support around 25,000 British jobs over the next 25 years.

An F-35B Lightning II jet takes off from the USS Wasp
An F-35B Lightning II jet takes off from the USS Wasp (library image) [Picture: Todd R McQueen, Lockheed Martin]

MOD’s Chief of Materiel (Air), Air Marshal Simon Bollom, said:

The latest contract for the fourth Lightning II means we are a step closer to realising the ambition of having the most advanced fast jets available for the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy to defend our nation’s interests.

Our strong participation in the test and development of the aircraft has shown the potent capability that this fifth-generation fighter delivers.

It represents the cutting-edge of combat aircraft design and will be a tremendous asset for the UK, so we are delighted with the progress the programme is making.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to be structurally complete next year. She will begin her sea trials in 2017 before flight trials with the Lightning II jets get underway in 2018.

As well as operating from the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, Lightning II will be jointly operated by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy from RAF Marham in Norfolk

The 300-tonne section of ramp is lifted onto the Queen Elizabeth
The 300-tonne section of ramp is lifted onto the Queen Elizabeth [Picture: Aircraft Carrier Alliance]
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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:50
Queen Elizabeth UK aircraft carrier - Picture Aircraft Carrier Alliance

Queen Elizabeth UK aircraft carrier - Picture Aircraft Carrier Alliance


April 24, 2013: telegraph.co.uk


The first of the UK's two new aircraft carriers - The Queen Elizabeth - takes shape at Rosyth. The ship, which will have a displacement of 65,000 tons, is the largest warship ever to be built in the UK. She is so big that she is being built in blocks at dockyards around Britain and then assembled in dry dock in Rosyth. Two ships of the class are being built - the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales


More pictures

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