BAE Systems’ 6,000 tonne chunk of aircraft carrier sets sail

Posted on 15 May 2012

In another phase of a gargantuan operation, BAE Systems engineers and technicians moved the 6,000 tonne section of what is to be HMS Queen Elizabeth onto a sea-going barge.

The giant chunk of aircraft carrier, also known as ‘Lower Block 02’ (LB02) is destined for Rosyth in Scotland to be assembled in the dry dock.

BAE Systems technicians used remote controlled heavy lifting equipment to manoeuvre LB02 onto the barge, which will take it to Rosyth – a 600 mile journey. LB02 stands over 20 metres high, 70 metres long and 40 metres wide.

Steven Carroll, Queen Elizabeth Class project director at BAE Systems paid tribute to the “skill and pride” of the workforce that produced LB02, and said: “The load out of Lower Block 02 marks another great achievement for the team here in Portsmouth and comes only two weeks after the first section of the hull was transported to Rosyth.”

“The size and complexity of the block demonstrates the huge amount of progress which continues to be made on the programme to deliver the nation’s flagships,” he added.

Construction of the forward island for HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will control vessel navigation and house the ship’s bridge, is also underway at Portsmouth, while work on LB02 for the second ship continues, after production began in February this year.

BAE Systems has revealed that it plans to dredge the existing channel to Portsmouth to make it deeper and wider, and also plans to refurbish the base’s jetties to ease access for both the QE Class and Type 45 fleet.