New gangways arrive for British Queen Elizabeth carriers

Photo: Royal Navy/BAE Systems

Two new gangways to support Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers have arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Designed and developed by Dutch specialists Verhoef, on behalf of BAE Systems, the gangways are part of an investment of £100 million to support HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales while they are docked in Portsmouth.

The gangways, known in the maritime industry as ‘brows’, have been specifically produced to provide industrial and naval workforces day-to-day access to the largest warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy.

Weighing 12 tonnes each, a single brow can cater for a footfall of up to 3,000 people per hour, with up to 500 industrial staff expected to work on the ships each day when they are alongside during maintenance periods, BAE Systems said.

The reception point brow will be used predominantly by Royal Navy and VIP visitors. Its telescopic gangway will extend up to 19 metres over the water while the aircraft lift brow will allow easy access to the ships for support staff.

Base staff and sailors will undergo training to use the brows before using them for real for the first time next spring when Queen Elizabeth makes her debut in Portsmouth.

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