Birkenhead shipyard Cammell Laird set for jobs joy with aircraft carrier deal
boss John Syvret today spoke about the new jobs work on a £150m aircraft carrier contract could bring to Merseyside.
The Birkenhead yard yesterday revealed it was awarded preferred bidder status, along with Teesside shipyard A&P, to build the flight decks of two new Royal Navy aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
Talks are now underway with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the way the work will be split between the two yards.
Chief executive Mr Syvret said the announcement was a tremendous boost for the yard.
He said: “This shipyard has an immensely proud History
of building Royal Navy carriers, including two Ark Royals.
“Being awarded preferred bidder status is a major endorsement of the skills and expertise we have worked so hard to rebuild here over the past eight years.
“If we do win this contract, it will safeguard and generate jobs and work for local businesses.”
He said the work would be carried out using Laird
’s giant shipbuilding hall, the biggest of its kind in Europe.
He added once complete, the flight decks are likely to be transported from the hall to the river’s edge and lifted on to barges to be sailed to Rosyth, in Scotland, where both vessels will be assembled.
He added: “This is clearly very positive.
The carriers will be the two of the biggest Royal Navy vessels to be built.”
They are expected to enter service around 2016 and 2018 after a two-year delay due to MoD budget pressures.
A variety of UK shipyards won contracts to construct parts of the vessels and work on cutting the first steel for the carriers in Glasgow is expected to start as early as June.
Both carriers will provide four acres of capacity, able to sail to any location across the globe.
The flight decks will support the new generation Joint Strike Fighter, which also involves another Merseyside link.
Birkenhead precision engineer CML was contracted to provide parts for the new fighter, a descendant of Britain’s legendary Lightning aircraft.
Both vessels will each weigh 65,000 tonnes, will be 280m long and 70m wide and will be capable of 25 knots.
They will have a total complement, including the air group, of about 1,500 people.
’s current workload is split around 50-50 between MoD and commercial sector work.
It wants to grow in the international commercial market targeting the US, Scandinavia and the Gulf of Mexico for conversion, refit and repairs. THE ECHO