First Centre Blocks for UK Aircraft Carrier Complete
The U.K.-based Cammell Laird has completed its first centre blocks for a second aircraft carrier set to become the centrepiece of Britain’s military capability.
The Birkenhead marine and engineering services company has fabricated and outfitted two blocks for the new Prince of Wales aircraft carrier, which are now being transported by sea to the Rosyth shipyard in Scotland.
Construction of the blocks began in July 2013, and has involved a workforce of 250 including contractors.
The two latest blocks, known as CB02 Ring F and Ring G, are 40 metres wide, 15 metres deep and 10 metres tall. Ring F weighs 942 tonnes while Ring G is 642 tonnes.
John Drummond, Cammell Laird project director, said: “This work includes exceptionally-advanced levels of engineering, particularly in welding technology.
We can build a bespoke block and have it ready for when a ship arrives for conversion. This ensures the vessel can get back into operation as quickly as possible saving the customer time and money.”
Cammell Laird built nine units for the first aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, and is now building six units for the second. A further four blocks will be delivered around August 2015.
The new centre blocks will be transported from Merseyside to Rosyth on a barge pulled by an ocean-going tug over four to five days.
The UK’s QE Class aircraft carrier project is the biggest UK engineering project since the London Olympics.