U.K. Navy Carrier Program is a Go
By AMI INTERNATIONAL INC.
BAE Systems and VT Group
have signed the final, legally
binding agreement to form BVT
Surface Fleet, a joint venture that
combines BAE’s and VT’s surface
warship building and support
operations, according to a BAE
The June 11 deal includes each
of BAE Systems’ and VT’s 50 percent shareholdings in their existing surface warship through-life
support joint venture, Fleet Support Ltd.
The announcement of the agreement comes on the heels of the
U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD)
giving the green light to the Queen
Elizabeth-class carrier program,
formerly known as the Future
Aircraft Carrier, or CVF. The joint
venture deal has been cleared by
European Union and U.S. regulatory bodies, the release said, and was
to be approved by VT shareholders
June 30. BVT was to become operational July 1.
Now the joint venture and the
MoD will work to finalize the
design and manufacture contracts
for signature, officially kicking off
the construction of HMS Queen
Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
The two carriers will cost an estimated $7.4 billion in total and be
built in sections at shipyards in
Glasgow and Rosyth.
Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to
be delivered to the Royal Navy in
2014, followed by Prince of Wales
Other major players in the CVF
Program Alliance that will support
the VT-BAE joint venture include
Babcock, Thales U.K., BAE Systems
AMI INTERNATIONAL INC. ILLUSTRATION
The U.K. Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class carrier program has been given
the go-ahead. The new BAE Systems/VT Group joint venture that will manufacture the two carriers will become operational in July.
Submarine Solutions at Barrow and
BAE Systems Integrated Systems
The latest announcement follows the March contract award for
long-lead items, including steel
that will be used for construction,
and the February contract between
Babcock Engineering Services and
subcontractor Edmund Nuttall
Ltd. to modify docks in order to
With the MoD’s decision, the
Queen Elizabeth-class carrier program appears to be on track
despite earlier indications that it
could be delayed by up to 18
months and misgivings by officials
within the MoD that the carriers
were being built at the expense of
what could be a much larger surface combatant fleet.
Four Firms to Vie for
U.K. Tanker Program
Four candidates have been short-listed for the U.K. Royal Navy Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability
(MARS) Fleet Tanker. Fincantieri of
Italy, Hyundai Heavy Industries of
South Korea, Navantia of Spain and
the BAE Systems/BMT/Daewoo Team
of the United Kingdom and South
Korea were chosen as finalists from
more than 20 prospective builders.
The U.K. MoD will evaluate the
four candidates and select a preferred design, likely by early 2009,
sources said. A construction contract could be in place by 2010 in
order to have the first units in service by early next decade. The initial
MARS tankers will replace the oldest single-hull tankers in service
with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.