£3.8bn ''Future Carrier'' order confirmed
Date: Sunday, July 29 @ 17:10:42 MDT
Orders for two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers have been confirmed by Defence Secretary Des Browne.
The new 65,000-tonne carriers - HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales - will enter service in 2014
and 2016. |Read More|
Mr Browne said the work would support and create 10,000 jobs across the UK, including those at yards on the Clyde, Rosyth, Portsmouth and Barrow. The contract has been described as a "major project" for the
shipbuilding industry by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The work will be shared among a number of companies, including BAE Systems' Govan and Scotstoun yards in Glasgow, which employ 3,000 people. The ships will be built in sections and then assembled at the Rosyth dockyard in Fife.
Making the announcement, Mr Browne said the carriers would "provide our front-line forces with the modern, world class capabilities they will need over the coming decades".
However, he said the carriers could not be built without a change in the maritime sector.
The Ministry of Defence said about 40% of the carriers work would be carried out by the joint venture
between BAE Systems and VT Group - 15% in Portsmouth and 25% in Glasgow. Thales and Babcock will each have 16% of the contract, while the remaining 28% will be carried out by BAE Systems at Barrow and by its Integrated System Technologies (Insyte) division, based in Surrey.
However there warnings that there would be "some reductions" in the 17,800 personnel currently employed at the bases.
Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox welcomed the announcement but said it came at "a high price" for the navy.
Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Willie Rennie said: "I am sure the communities of the three navy bases will welcome the decision but will perhaps wait with trepidation about the potential losses in jobs."
The carriers expected to displace 55,000t to 65,000t, a size between the USA's 100,000t Nimitz class and
the French 43,000t Charles de Gaulle class aircraft carriers, and three times larger than the 20,000t UK
Invincible class carriers.
The Royal Navy CVF Future Carriers will have a maximum speed of 25kt. At 15kt the range is 10,000nm and the ship carries food, fuel and stores for an endurance of seven days between replenishments. Each ship will have a complement of typically 1,200, including 600 aircrew.
CVF will be the principal platform for the RN/RAF Future Joint Combat Aircraft (FJCA) which will replace RN
and RAF Harriers; the FJCA role will be filled by the STOVL (short take off vertical landing) variant of
the Lockheed Martin F35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The CVF Carrier Air Group (CAG) will also include the
Maritime Airborne Surveillance & Control system to provide sensor coverage against air and surface threats, together with command and control for other air operations. CVF will be capable of supporting the operation of helicopters.