The UK Royal Navy has awarded a contract to AEI Cables to supply cables for Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

Under the £8m ($13m) contract the company will design and manufacture 2,500km of cables and wiring to supply power, lighting, data communications, fire protection and alarm circuits, which need to operate in demanding conditions.

The 280m-long, 70m-wide Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers will have a full-load displacement of 65,000t.

They will have an operational range of 10,000 nautical miles and the capacity to carry 40 aircraft.

The contract has been awarded by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, which is composed of industry participants and the UK Ministry of Defence.

The contract to build the two aircraft carriers was signed on 3 July 2008. HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are due to enter service in 2014 and 2016 respectively.