UK: Aircraft Carrier ‘Prince of Wales’ Construction Begins

Defence Secretary Liam Fox and the country’s top military brass will this week assemble on the banks of the Clyde for a ceremony to mark the start of construction on Britain’s second giant aircraft carrier, the Prince of Wales.

But there is a good chance that the 65,000- ton vessel, which is not due to be launched until 2020, will never see action – and may even be mothballed.

This is because the Government has not yet made up its mind whether Britain can afford two huge carriers, together expected to cost more than £7 billion.

Work is progressing on the first carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, with 10,000 people around the country making components ranging from engines to computer systems.

British manufacturers are struggling to find workers with the right skills – and a shortage of skills is seen as the biggest barrier to foreign investment, according to a report, Engineered In Britain: Manufacturing A Successful Economy?, published this week.

By Tom Mcghie (dailymail)


Source: dailymail, May 23, 2011; Image: armedforces