Babcock will facilitate a six-week routine maintenance on the 65,000-tonne carrier, the UK’s largest ever warship. Works include a planned hull survey and maintenance of her underwater systems as part of the first planned dry-dock maintenance of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, maintaining 100 jobs at its peak throughout summer.
A Babcock UK spokeswoman welcomed the announcement, saying, "We look forward to welcoming HMS Queen Elizabeth back to our facilities, where she was assembled, for her first docking and maintenance period. We continue to work closely with our MOD and Royal Navy customer on this national asset."
The maintenance will mark the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s return to the Babcock site where she was built. HMS Queen Elizabeth left the Babcock site for sea trials in June 2017, with HMS Prince of Wales set to follow by the end of 2019.
The HMS Prince of Wales is undergoing the final stages of construction at the Rosyth yard and was designed and delivered as part of a unique partnership between Babcock, BAE Systems, Thales UK and the MOD and is due to be handed over to the Royal Navy later this year.
Babcock Australasia CEO David Ruff commented, "This contract demonstrates the trust that the world’s leading navies – including the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy, as well as the Royal Navy – have in Babcock sustaining their warship and submarine fleets. Babcock is proud to be the engineering force sustaining maritime security."
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy. HMS Queen Elizabeth will resume aviation trials later this year with British-owned F-35s and is expected to enter operational service in 2020, prior to her first deployment in 2021.
UK Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said, "After a phenomenal year of trials off the east coast of the US, this dry-docking contract is an important step for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she gears up for operations."
In Australia and New Zealand, Babcock operates nationally, employing over 850 talented people. Operating across aviation, marine, mining and construction, cyber security, defence, communications, emergency services and engineering consultancy.