BAE joins aircraft carrier hull

Feb. 15, 2011 at 6:40 AM
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GLASGOW, Scotland, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- BAE Systems UK has joined together hull midsections of the first of two aircraft carriers being built for the British navy.

"Seeing the midsection of the carrier come together brings into sharp focus the sheer scale and complexity of this engineering feat," said Steven Carroll, Queen Elizabeth Class project director at BAE Systems' Surface Ships division.

"With construction under way at six shipyards across the country, it is one of the biggest engineering projects in the U.K. today … and we're all very proud to be a part of it."

The two sections brought together Monday at a BAE facility in Scotland form the midsection of the hull up to the hangar deck. Workers will continue to outfit the block, which on completion will weigh more than 9,300 tons.

As a member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, BAE Systems is working in partnership with Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defense to deliver the nation's flagships.

BAE Systems is also constructing the main stern section, which is the largest and most complex section of the carrier, at its yard on the River Clyde.

At its Portsmouth facilities, work is under way to construct the forward and lower stern sections of the hull as well as the pole mast while integration and testing of the ships' complex mission system is under way at the company's Maritime Integration and Support Center, BAE said.

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