The UK Royal Navy has awarded a contract to Babcock’s Rosyth dockyard in Scotland to perform the first planned dry-dock maintenance of HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.
Under the £5m contract, Babcock will carry out a routine, planned hull survey and maintenance of underwater systems of the 65,000t carrier over a period of six weeks.
To be performed in the summer, the contract work will create around 100 jobs.
UK Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “After a phenomenal year of trials off the East Coast of the US, this dry-docking contract is an important step for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she gears up for operations.
“The largest ship in our Royal Navy’s history, which was assembled in Rosyth, will now return for this multi-million-pound routine maintenance work as she gets set to represent Britain across the world for decades to come.”
The UK’s second aircraft carrier and HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales is currently stationed at the Rosyth yard where it is undergoing the final stages of construction.
HMS Prince of Wales was powered up for the first time in November last year and is expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy later this year. Bae Systems signed an agreement to supply the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales with mission system support.
Meanwhile, HMS Queen Elizabeth is anticipated to resume aviation trials later this year with British-owned F-35s.
The aircraft carrier will enter operational service in 2020, with the first deployment slated for 2021.
Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) Ships Support director Russell Brown said: “The teams at Defence Equipment and Support are committed to bringing the national flagships into operational service and this dry docking is a crucial step on that journey.”