MoD signs carrier contract

Posted on 3 Jul 2008 by The Manufacturer

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed the £3.2 billion contract for the construction of the UK’s biggest aircraft carriers.

The two 65,000 tonne vessels, named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, are due into service in 2014 and 2016 and will be three times larger than current carriers, boasting flight deck surface areas the size of three football pitches, and the capacity to accommodate up to 40 planes.

Production will undertaken by the contract winning joint venture between VT and BAE Systems and will secure 10,000 jobs in the UK shipbuilding sector, including 4,600 in Govan, Glasgow, and 1,200 in Portsmouth.

“The two aircraft carriers will provide our forces with the world class capabilities they will need over the coming decades,” said Defence Secretary Des Brown, adding that the signing of the contracts marked a “historic day for everyone in defence.”