CVF CONTRACT SIGNED
By Julian Nettlefold
03 Jul 08. The MoD today signed contracts with industry to build the two future aircraft carriers. The contracts, worth in the region of £3 billion, were signed with the newly-formed British shipbuilding company BVT Surface Fleet and the Aircraft Carrier Alliance onboard HMS Ark Royal, one of the Royal Navy’s existing aircraft carriers and currently the Fleet Flagship.
Today’s contract signing took place on board on HMS Ark Royal at Portsmouth. The signing was also marked by events in Barrow-on-Furness, and the shipyards in Govan and Rosyth, where the ships will be built.
The carriers are to be named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. They will displace 65,000 tonnes at deep load, by around 280m long and 70m wide on the flight deck, accommodate around 1,500 personnel and operate a mix of up to 40 aircraft. Their respective in-service dates are planned to be 2014 and 2016.
On June 30th BAE Systems and VT Group confirmed that their Joint Venture, BVT Surface Fleet (BVT) would become operational on Tuesday 1 July 2008. This follows VT shareholder approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting held (today). BAE Systems and VT Group will have equal board representation and voting rights. BVT will employ over 7,000 people at facilities in Glasgow, Bristol (Filton) and Portsmouth. BAE Systems and VT have appointed Sir John Parker as the non-executive Chairman and Alan Johnston as Chief Executive of BVT.
In addition to the manufacture contracts, all parties have signed a legally binding Alliance Agreement, including an Alliance Charter, committing them to work together in a collaborative manner.
Construction of a hull section at Portsmouth is expected to create/sustain 1,200 jobs; construction of hull sections at Govan is expected to help sustain over 3,000 jobs on the Clyde; construction of a hull section at Barrow-in-Furness is expected to create/sustain 400 jobs in Barrow with additional employment in the North East; work at BAE Systems Insyste at Frimley, Surrey is expected to create/sustain 145 jobs; work under contract to Thales UK at Bristol and Crawley is expected to create/sustain around 250 jobs and assembly of the ships at Rosyth is expected to create/sustain 1600 jobs. Contracts already placed include those for diesel generators, aircraft lifts, the steel for the ships and key electronics.
On 11 February, a £35m contract was signed by Babcock Engineering Services with Glasgow-based subcontractors Edmund Nuttall Limited to modify the docks in order to accommodate the building of the carriers and widen its direct entrance.
Contracts authorised today encompass work worth:
* £1,325m for the construction of giant sections of both ships by BVT Surface Fleet at Govan on the Clyde and Portsmouth;
* £300m for the construction of giant sections of the ships at the BAE Systems yard at Barrow-in-Furness;
* £675m for the bow section and final assembly and completion of the ships by Babcock Marine, with assembly taking place at Rosyth;
* £425m for design and engineering for Thales UK; and
* £275m for design and supply of Mission Systems for BAE Systems INSYTE
Defence Secretary, Des Browne, said, “This is a historic day for everyone in defence. The two aircraft carriers will provide our forces with the world-class capabilities they will need over the coming decades. They will support peace-keeping and conflict prevention, as well as our strategic operational priorities.
“Today’s contract signing seals the future for thousands of jobs, and ensures that we will have a Royal Navy fit for the 21st century.”
Baroness Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, said, “This is truly a national project, involving companies from the Clyde to the Solent. Construction work will create or sustain around 10,000 UK jobs at the peak of production. I am delighted that we have signed the contracts for manufacture today and I look forward to first cutting o