The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has opened a new logistics centre for critical maintenance of the Royal Navy’s (RN) Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carriers.

The new Forward Logistics Centre is located alongside carrier berths of the base port in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Apart from supporting the maintenance of two QEC aircraft carriers, the centre will provide logistical support for other RN vessels and equipment.

The centre is the final project under a 19-year QEC infrastructure programme.

As part of this programme, BAE Systems and Francis Construction were awarded a $8.5m (£7m) contract to develop the QEC support facility.

Besides, the programme has invested around $427m (£350m) into the Portsmouth naval base and $122m (£100m) in Scotland.

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The QEC infrastructure programme, which began in 2003, has supported and sustained around 550 jobs across the country for the 50-year life of the vessels.

UK Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “The QEC carriers are the flagships of our Royal Navy, providing critical at-sea protection of the UK and our allies.

“Ensuring we can provide quick and efficient logistical support to our Royal Navy vessels is crucial to maintaining our resilience and operational advantage.”

The facility will ensure that the after completion of the maintenance period, QEC carriers can return to operations, defending the country’s interests at the sea.

The QEC aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, are 280m-long large warships, capable of conducting various missions ranging from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to supporting war efforts.

The new Forward Logistics Centre has been future proofed to support the country’s Net Zero 2050 targets.

It is also the RN’s first infrastructure construction to be Net Zero in operation.