Works on the jetty that will welcome the Royal Navy’s largest ships ever built, the two Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, has been completed, the UK ministry of defense announced.
The jetty at Her Majesty’s Naval Dockyard Portsmouth, parts of which date back over 90 years, has been refurbished to prepare for the first of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.
This is in addition to the dredging of the approach channel, inner harbor area and berth in order to make them deep and wide enough for the new ships.
New navigational lights, a high-voltage electrical supply and specialist carrier-specific gangways, known as ‘brows’ are also being provided as part of the undertaking. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has worked with VolkerStevin and BAE Systems to deliver the package of infrastructure needed for the carriers.
“I am delighted that the works to the jetty are completed. It is a crucial element of the £100m infrastructure package being delivered to support the arrival of the carriers into their homeport of Portsmouth,” DIO project manager Philip Wise said. “We are looking forward to seeing the first of the ships berthing against the new and improved jetty later this year.”
With the core jetty works complete and new specialist equipment delivered, the naval base’s preparations for the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) Carriers are centered on a program of familiarization, integration and testing, otherwise known as FIT.
This has been designed by BAE Systems on behalf of the Portsmouth Naval Base Commander and Naval Base staff to prepare equipment, personnel and processes for the arrival of the carriers. They provide a valuable means to practice and refine standard operating procedures designed for the QEC and to role-play emergency scenarios.
Phase 3 of the FIT trials started on March 10, using the visit of the 40,000 tonne USNS Robert E. Peary to the naval base for live testing of people, processes and equipment.