Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers
The size and scale of the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) project – delivering the nation’s largest warships – is unparalleled. Playing a critical role in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, Babcock International has worked collaboratively to deliver this project over the last decade whilst strengthening our position as the UK’s leading naval support provider to the Royal Navy.
With an expected service life of up to 50 years, the aircraft carriers will be highly versatile and potent joint defence assets, able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world. They are the most capable and powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK.
Utilising our UK wide facilities, and a wealth of specialised knowledge and experience, Babcock has delivered detailed design and whole ship assembly of the QEC from her keel to mast., ensuring this remains one of Babcock's flagship programmes.
With critical components successfully completed at our Appledore facility in north Devon, including cutting edge CAD-based modelling, and design and development of the bow and a number of upper blocks, this facility alone has delivered in excess of 10,000 tonnes of manufactured components to Rosyth for assembly, including eight major blocks, 285 sponson units and 61 catwalk units.
The linchpin for weapons development, our Leicester facility has ensured that each vessel’s innovative Highly Automated Mechanised Weapons Handling System critically delivers when required. Eighteen state of the art shiplifts, four hanger doors and integrated waste systems – enabling 98% of the vessel’s waste to be recycled – have underpinned QEC world class status.
With responsibility for more than 50% of the detailed design, the manufacture of key components and systems and final ship assembly at Rosyth all underpinning the QEC programme, our longstanding engineering heritage is clear to see. With strategically located facilities offering safe, secure docking and first-class marine support and training, we are trusted to deliver some of the world’s most challenging naval engineering projects.
Recent project milestones:
December 2017: HMS Prince of Wales Floats Out
HMS Prince of Wales was successfully floated out of the dock at the Babcock Rosyth site. The dry dock was filled with water to allow the carrier to float into the waters of the non-tidal basin for the first time. In a two hour operation, using eight tugs, she was then manoeuvred out of the dock. HMS Prince of Wales is now at J/K berth, where the team will continue to outfit the ship and steadily bring her systems to life in preparation for sea trials in 2019.
September 2017: Britain's second aircraft carrier named in Rosyth
HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the Royal Navy’s two future flagships being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, was officially named during a ceremony in Rosyth by the ship’s new sponsor, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay., Scotland.
June 2017: Nation's Flagship takes to sea for the first time
HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first QE Class aircraft carrier, set sail from Babcock’s Rosyth facilities to commence first stage sea trials off the north-east of Scotland.