The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a dry-dock maintenance contract to Babcock International for the Royal Navy’s (RN) Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carriers.

Awarded by MoD’s procurement arm Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), the estimated value of the ten-year contract is approximately $36.71m (£30m).

Under the agreement, the two QEC warships, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will undergo repair and maintenance works at Babcock’s Rosyth facility in Scotland, UK.

The contract will also support around 300 employment opportunities at the company’s Rosyth facility as well as at the wider supply chain.

UK Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “The Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers are the flagships of our Royal Navy and it’s crucial they remain ready to protect and defend the UK and our allies.

“Both carriers had their final construction in Rosyth, and I’m pleased they will return for their dry-dock maintenance, supporting vital jobs and skills in Scotland.”

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The maintenance work will ensure the UK continues to have a future ready naval force that can respond to various maritime threats.

The QEC carriers have been built to perform various defence operations and international engagements for the UK and its allies.

Recently, HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales participated in the Cold Response exercise and conducted several maritime training and exercises in waters close to the UK.

Babcock Marine Engineering and Systems and the Rosyth site managing director Sean Donaldson said: “The investments in our Rosyth infrastructure and facilities over the last ten-years mean 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.”