JHC Participates in Key Milestone Event for HMS Queen Elizabeth

The aft island of HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will house the air traffic and flight deck control specialists, was lowered into place on 28th June 2013.

At the sound of an airhorn, 2 Aircraft Carrier Alliance workforce apprentice teams lowered the iconic section, known as Upper Block 14, the final few feet into place. Weighing in at more than 750 tonnes, and standing more than 30 metres tall, the aft island is the second ‘island’ on HMS Queen Elizabeth. The forward island houses the ship’s main bridge.

And as the island settled on the flightdeck, it sealed a plaque into place beneath it, embedding the emblems of the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the British Army into the fabric of the ship. To signify the primary role of the aircraft carrier the plaque was laid in place by serving pilots: Capt Dickie Payne RN; Col Stuart Barnard AAC, AD CIA at HQ JHC; and Gp Capt David Bradshaw RAF.

Asst Programme Director Steve Carroll said: “Moving this section into place is a momentous occasion for the programme. HMS Queen Elizabeth now has a completely unique and distinctive profile and thanks to the dedication of thousands of workers she will be structurally complete by the end of this year.”

The aft island was the final section of HMS Queen Elizabeth to arrive at the Rosyth assembly site. It was constructed in 90 weeks by workers at BAE Systems’ yard in Scotstoun and will house the ship’s ‘FLYCO’, making it the centre of all on-board flight operations.

Capt Simon Petitt RN, the Senior Naval Officer on the ship said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth will be at the centre of the UKs defence capability for the next fifty years. She will be absolutely unique and, combined with assets across the rest of the UK’s armed forces, will provide this country with an unprecedented level of capability, protecting UK interests across the globe.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the first aircraft carrier to use an innovative design of two islands and has a range of technology and automation that will allow her to operate with less that a third of the crew of many other carriers in service today. The ship will leave the dock next year and is due to commence First of Class Flying Trials with the new F35B aircraft in 2018. The ships are not only designed to operate fast jets, but also various types of helicopter, from Chinook to Apache.

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