July 3, 2008
U.K. inks $5.95 billion aircraft carrier contracts
Contracts to build two Royal Navy aircraft carriers, the largest and most potent warships to be designed and built in the U.K., have been signed by the U.K. Ministry of Defence.
The contracts, worth in the region of UKP 3 billion (US$ 5.95 billion), were signed with the new U.K. joint venture, formed by BAE Systems and VT Group, called BVT Surface Fleet, and the Aircraft Carrier Alliance onboard HMS Ark Royal at Portsmouth today, Thursday 3 July 2008.
The Ministry says the future aircraft carriers (CVF), to be named HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will dramatically improve the U.K.'s ability to project expeditionary air power over the coming decades and will be a highly versatile and potent joint defense asset, able to meet the widest range of tasks.
The contracts authorized today include:
The carriers will displace 65,000 tonnes at deep load, be around 280 m long and 70 m wide on the flight deck, accommodate around 1,500 people and operate a mix of up to 40 aircraft.
BVT Surface Fleet, the joint venture formed by BAE Systems (55 percent) and VT Group (45 percent) on July 1, 2008 will be a key member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance of companies that will construct and assemble the new carriers. Other members include Babcock, Thales UK, BAE Systems Submarine Solutions at Barrow and BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies (Insyte).