Carrier pieces come together

17 Feb 2011

Construction of the first of the two new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has taken a huge step forward as workers at BAE Systems' Govan yard moved two giant sections of the hull together for the first time.

The developing structure is so big that it fills an entire hall at Govan and now extends beyond the doors onto the yard, providing a spectacular view from across the River Clyde.

Highlighting the skill and technology involved in British shipbuilding today, it took a team of 20 employees and remote controlled transporters just one hour to move 1,221 tonnes of steel over 100 metres across the shipyard. The hull section was then manoeuvred carefully into position to line up with the rest of the block.

Steven Carroll, Queen Elizabeth Class Project Director at BAE Systems' Surface Ships division, said: "Seeing the mid section of the carrier come together brings into sharp focus the sheer scale and complexity of this engineering feat.

"With construction underway at six shipyards across the country, it is one of the biggest engineering projects in the UK today - second only to the London 2012 Olympics - and we're all very proud to be a part of it."

The two sections form the mid section of the hull up to the hangar deck and is referred to as Lower Block 03. Workers will now continue to outfit the block, which on completion will weigh over 9,300 tonnes and stand over 23 metres tall, 63 metres long and 40 metres wide. She is set to embark on the next stage of her journey to Rosyth in the latter part of this year, where HMS Queen Elizabeth will be assembled in the dry dock.

Source:  BAE Systems