Staff at A&P Tyne in Hebburn have been working for 18 months on a project to build components for the HMS Prince of Wales on behalf of BAE Systems – one of two new-generation carriers currently being built for the Royal Navy.
More than 3,500 tonnes of parts for the carrier – to be used in the flight deck – were shipped off on a barge in August from the River Tyne, bound for Rosyth in Scotland, where the ship is being assembled. A&P had already supplied modules for the first new carrier, the Queen Elizabeth, in 2011. The Royal Navy contract has provided a “massive boost” for the group, with more than 400 people devoted to working on the project.
Darren Brown, Managing Director of A&P Tyne, said:
There are only five yards in the country that have been involved in the project, and we are the only one involved in the North East.
We have built four upper blocks for the aircraft carrier. Three of them are between 400 and 500 tonnes and one is 850 tonnes.
The huge prefabricated modules were slowly inched on to a waiting barge at the yard. The barge was then towed down river on the first stage of its journey to the Firth of Forth.
The Royal Navy contracts had an average of 220 people working solely on them, with production numbers peaking at 450.
Press Release, Image: A&P Tyne