New gangways arrive to support UK Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers

4 September 2016 (Last Updated September 4th, 2016 18:30)

Two gangways developed to meet the requirements of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers have arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Two gangways developed to meet the requirements of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers have arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Developed by Dutch specialists Verhoef for BAE Systems,  the gangways or 'brows' are part of a £100m investment to support the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales while they are docked in Portsmouth.

Weighing 12t each, the gangways have been designed to offer industrial and naval workforces access to the largest warships constructed for the Royal Navy.

Each gangway can cater for a footfall of up to 3,000 people an hour, with up to 500 industrial staff expected to work on the ships every day during maintenance periods.

Royal Navy and VIP visitors will primarily use the reception point brow.

"The reception point and aircraft lift brows are unique to the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers as existing designs are too short for these ships."

Verhoef's telescopic gangway has a reach of 19m, while its aircraft lift brow will allow support staff to access the ships. 

BAE Systems Queen Elizabeth Class readiness project manager Mark Harris said: “The reception point and aircraft lift brows are unique to the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers as existing designs are too short for these ships.

“The brows are cutting-edge steel and aluminium construction, built to provide a means of access that can be deployed quickly, without the need of a crane, and taking account of tidal conditions and ship movements.

“The brows also come with integrated LED lighting to provide illuminated access during dark hours.”

A training and familiarisation programme will be conducted at Portsmouth Naval Base to prepare staff for the new equipment, ahead of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2017.


Image: New gangways for QEC aircraft carriers. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.