18:04 GMT, August 25, 2009 The first shipment of component units for the new aircraft carrier has arrived in Rosyth today, marking the start of the first stages in the assembly process for the massive 65,000 tonne vessels, being undertaken by Bab.
This first transportation, from Bab’s site at Appledore, Devon, consists of 11 fabricated units and two flat pack units for the first of the two Queen Elizabeth (QE) class aircraft carriers’ sponson blocks. The units vary slightly in size, but each measures in the region of 10 metres long by 7.5 metres wide and 3 metres high, and weighs 20-36 tonnes. Each carrier will have 12 different sponsons which form part of the ship structure to provide a wider flight deck.
This is the first of some 20 shipments from Appledore to Rosyth for each of the two vessels, including two shipments for the LB01 sub blocks, 12 shipments for sponson units, and four shipments for centre block units. For the first carrier these shipments will take place at various intervals between August 2009 and January 2012.
Each of these shipments received will allow work to start on combining the 20-40 tonne individual units into 300 tonne blocks. Major outfit can then commence on electrical cabling and equipments, mechanical pipe systems and equipments, ventilation ducts and equipments, furniture, and propulsion, weapon or aviation systems. This will lead to completion of the approximately 1500 different compartments and numerous systems, prior to whole ship assembly in No.1 Dock at Rosyth.
Sean Donaldson, Bab project director, comments: “The first transportation between the Bab facilities in support of the QE class project marks a key milestone for the project. Many people have been involved both in preparing the ship components for transportation and the co-ordination of the logistics to ship the components. This joint working between Bab/BVT and the MoD shipping experts has clearly demonstrated the benefits of the Alliance approach being adopted by the project.”
The assembly and integration stage will involve the use of heavy lifting, alignment and fabrication skills by Bab. As block build progresses two 500 tonne transporters (delivered to Rosyth this month) and the Goliath crane (scheduled to arrive at Rosyth in August 2010) will all play a major part.