The Aircraft Carrier Alliance has awarded a further £20m worth of new contracts to UK companies for work on the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
Tactical communications systems, which will provide short-range radio links for each ship to ‘talk’ to other UK, international military and commercial ships, aircraft, or land-based forces, will be supplied under a £6m contract with Thales UK, securing approximately 30 jobs at the firm’s Crawley site.
The other contracts announced are;
— Cullum Detuners Ltd in Derby has won a £5m contract for designing and manufacturing the enclosure that the Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine engines will be fitted into, as well as integration work for the overall gas turbine alternator. The housing will be acoustically designed to lessen engine noise. The work is expected to sustain 40-50 jobs in the first year and 20-30 from 2012-2014.
— Aker Qserv in Aberdeen has won a £5m contract to provide preservation and flushing services which will protect all the pipe work on the ships, from the lifts hydraulics to the fuel system, from rusting which reduces maintenance. Between 20 and 30 staff will work on the contract.
— Darchem in Stockton on Tees has won a £2.6m contract for folding fire barriers on both ships, which can be deployed quickly in an emergency to prevent the spread of fire.
— BAE Systems has been awarded a £1.2m contract to design and build the ships’ Pole Masts. Sensors and other equipment to enable Air Traffic Control and tactical operations will be mounted to the Pole Masts, which will be 17m high and located on top of the aft (rear) island of the ships.
— Cablofil in Sutton Weaver has won an £800,000 contract for a system to organise cables throughout the ships. The system will use 120,000 metres of steel wire tray that will contain the many kilometres of cabling running through the ships.
Announcing the contract awards, ACA programme director, Geoff Searle, said: “This is another major step forward on the programme to build these two new aircraft carriers for the UK armed forces. The ACA has awarded contracts to suppliers in almost every region of the UK, which will have a positive impact on local economies up and down the country.”