Carrier block on the way

22 Aug 2011

A huge section of new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has made the 600 mile journey from the BAE Systems Clyde shipyard round Scotland to Rosyth.

The enormous 8,000 tonne mid- section, known as Lower Block 03 travelled by barge from the BAE shipyard in Govan, around the top of Scotland to Rosyth.

To add to the excitement of the 5 day journey, a group of cyclists set out to "beat the block", racing round Scotland and tracing the path of Lower Block 03 on land,  raising more than £15,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity on their way.   

The 'Beat the Block' contest was undertaken to mark the transportation of the 8000 tonne mid section of the UK's first Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier, from BAE Systems shipyard at Govan on the River Clyde to its final outfitting and assembly destination at Babcock's facilities at Rosyth on the Firth of Forth, where it arrived on 20 August.

The cyclists tracked the route of the sea travelling steel block on land and made overnight stops at Fort William, Elgin, Peterhead and St Andrews to raise money for the worthy cause, which supports men and women in the British armed forces.

David McGinley, Babcock Business Development Director, commented: "The enormous task of moving Lower Block 3 from Govan to Rosyth has been matched today by the energy and enthusiasm shown by all of the cyclists completing their journey at Rosyth's No 1 dock.    The Aircraft Carrier Alliance places a huge importance on teamwork and many of the cyclists on this journey will now work side by side to continue the next phase of one the UK's most important engineering projects here at Rosyth."      

Cyclist Ian Hepburn of Babcock Rosyth, said: "We received tremendous support throughout what seemed like the goliath challenge of racing Lower Block 3 around the north of Scotland. We were spurred on to beat the block by the encouragement of many people and the donations that we received along the way. We are all delighted to have been able to support The Royal Navy and Royal Marines charity in this manner."

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance is a partnership between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defence across six shipyards to deliver the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier programme - sustaining thousands of skilled jobs throughout industry.

Source:  BAE systems