Milestone in BAE carrier construction

April 11, 2012 at 9:04 AM

LONDON, April 11 (UPI) -- BAE Systems' shipyard in Scotland completed a "major milestone" of joining massive sections of a British navy aircraft carrier.

In the 90-minute effort at the Govan Shipyard in Glasgow a section of the hull of HMS Queen Elizabeth -- weighing more than 4,000 tons -- was joined to another section.

The main unit was moved 328 feet using 132 remote-controlled transporters.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth is the "largest and most powerful warship" ever built for the British navy, the company said.

The sections will be welded together into a section 263 feet long.

Completion of the carrier is scheduled for 2016. A second carrier -- HMS Prince of Wales -- will follow. The ships are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the country's Ministry of Defense.

"It's the largest and most powerful warships we've ever built for the (British navy)," Project Director Steven Carroll was quoted as saying. "They are (64,000 tons), so about three times the size of our present Invincible class and these ships will be the flagships for the nation for years to come."

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