UK Government

Ministry Of Defence: £333m of contracts awarded for new super Aircraft Carriers

Press Release   •   Jan 15, 2010 10:44 GMT

Contracts worth £333M have been awarded by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) to companies across the country 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 £1.1bn. 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 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."

Head of Capital Ships at the MoD's Defence Equipment and Support Tony Graham said:

"The award of these contracts is evidence that the project is progressing well and momentum continues to grow. The project is successfully hitting its construction milestones and these contracts will help us meet our overall delivery plan. This work is particularly important for sustaining jobs and growing skills."

ACA Programme Director Geoff Searle said:

"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."

Notes to editors

1. The contract to build the two new Aircraft Carriers was signed on 3rd July 2008. Funding for these new equipment contracts form part of the existing financial commitment by the MOD announced under this original contract.

2. Key facts:
Displacement: 65,000 tonnes - over three times the size of the existing aircraft carriers
Length: 280m - 90m longer than the existing aircraft carriers
Width: 70m - twice the width of the existing aircraft carriers
Range: 8,000 to 10,000 nautical miles
56m from keel to masthead - 6m taller than Nelson's Column
Four acres of sovereign territory provided by each ship
Capacity for 40 aircraft - double that of the existing aircraft carrier
110MW power station on board each ship - enough to provide all of Portsea Island with power
1.5 million metres squared of paintwork, which is 370 acres or slightly more than acreage of Hyde Park
80,000 tonnes of steel is on order for the two ships; three times that used in Wembley Stadium

3. For further information please contact Sally May, DE&S Press Office on 011791 30638 or David Hunter in the MoD Press Office on 0207 218 3256.

007 / 2010

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