Babcock has been awarded a 10-year £30 million contract to provide dry-dock maintenance for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth class (QEC) aircraft carriers.
The new contract follows a previous maintenance period where Babcock completed the first docking for HMS Queen Elizabeth at the Rosyth site in 2019 and includes all routine maintenance and repairs that cannot be done when the vessel is afloat.
In addition to the scheduled dockings, Babcock will provide facilities for any contingency dockings required over the 10-year contract duration. The first planned activity will take place next year with a six-week work package.
According to Babcock, this is a significant milestone for big ship dockings at Rosyth, which was the integration site for the UK carrier build and assembly programme from 2008 to 2019. Babcock has invested more than £100million in skills, digitisation and site infrastructure at Rosyth, making it one of the most modern, capable and competitive manufacturing and repair facilities for large scale marine and energy programmes, with a circa 2000-strong workforce.
Alongside traditional maintenance practices, Babcock says the ships’ docking period will further benefit from the digital transformation underway at the Rosyth site, which is already in place to support the build and assembly of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 Inspiration Class frigates.
Sean Donaldson, Babcock’s managing director of Marine Engineering and Systems at Rosyth said the investments in the Rosyth infrastructure and facilities over the last 10-years means we are ideally placed to deliver projects of this size and scale. “The programme will also benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of Babcock’s skilled workforce which is steeped in carrier experience,” he said.
With an expected service life of up to 50 years, the aircraft carriers are highly versatile and potent joint defence assets, able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world.
As a key partner in the UK’s Aircraft Carrier Alliance, Babcock optimised countrywide facilities and a wealth of specialised knowledge and experience to deliver the detailed design and whole ship assembly for the QEC programme from her keel to mast, ensuring this remains one of Babcock’s flagship programmes.