8,000 tonne aircraft carrier hull makes its move to Rosyth

A huge section of HMS Prince of Wales has arrived in Rosyth as the dockyard prepares for final assembly of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier.

The 8,000 tonne hull section, known as Lower Block 03, completed the 600 mile journey around the north coast of Scotland last night, after departing BAE Systems in Glasgow on Monday (28 July).

The block weighs more than an entire Type 45 destroyer and forms the mid-section of the aircraft carrier’s hull from the keel to the hangar deck.

The first carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was officially named by Her Majesty the Queen in July and has been undocked for the first time, making way for final assembly of HMS Prince of Wales to begin next month.

The two aircraft carriers are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.

The Queen Elizabeth Class will be the centrepiece of Britain’s defence capability for the 21st century. Each 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier will provide the armed forces with a four-acre military operating base, which can travel up to 500 miles per day to be deployed anywhere around the world.

Operating the Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II jets and a number of types of helicopter, the Queen Elizabeth Class will be versatile enough to be used across the full spectrum of military activity from warfighting to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.