Carrier update November 2014
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales Superblock SB03 was successfully skidded along to SB02 over the weekend 1/2 November. A specialist jacking and skidding system was evenly positioned across the length of SB03 comprising five lines of jacks, each capable of lifting 400 tonnes. All jacks joined together and worked simultaneously to ensure a stable lift of the block - approximately 100mm off the ground. Hydraulic rams then worked to move the block forward 17 metres along the dock bottom. The blocks are now positioned within the 10mm tolerance required for sign off.
The joining – the term used by the ACA team is ‘skidding’ – is the last major evolution of the year on the ship in Rosyth, although work continues apace on segments of the 65,000-tonne leviathan at yards around the UK.
Blocks 2 and 3 contain a mix of engine compartments, store rooms, mess decks and accommodation and hangar space, plus hundreds of miles of cabling and several miles of pipes.
Video of skidding
Work on the assembly of Prince of Wales is going so well, delivery of lower block LB04 has been brought forward from September to July 2015.
HMS Prince of Wales is due to be launched in 2017 – the same year as her older sister HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth.
Prince of Wales – Rosyth manufacturing
Work continues on Sponsons 5, 9, 6 forward and aft, 01 forward and aft with the installation of P02 pipework and equipment.
Sponsons 8 aft, CB06A, SP07, SP02 forward and aft and CB05B are in progress within the syncrolift bays.
Units for Sponsons SP07, CB05B and SP08 forward are all in the process of being manufactured in the heavy fabrication bays.
SP04 has been handed over to assembly on the agreed date of 7 November 2014.
HMS Queen Elizabeth
QNLZ has equally been a hive of activity with pipe pressure testing and electrical terminations both continually increasing. Almost every week shows best-ever results. Pipe pressure testing has been averaging more than 640 per week over the past month and one week we managed to test over 1,200 pipes! Terminations have also exceeded expectations with more than 10,000 achieved per week. Ship 1 Director, Jon Pearson, put the pressure tests in context by saying: “This is a staggering improvement on our 130 per week back in June.”
A TV documentary crew spent three days at the end of October filming aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth with ACA team members and the Royal Navy. They were in Rosyth to record an episode of the upcoming ‘Impossible Engineering’ series for the Discovery Channel. The production company, TwoFour, will focus on the historical developments of aircraft carriers with our very own Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers as an example of the pinnacle of modern design, as well as the largest warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy.
Power, Propulsion and Systems – Both ships
For Systems, shore integration activities continue well in advance of ship requirements as we de-risk the equipment. Recent progress includes factory acceptance tests for the Air Group Management Application and the Electro Optic Subsystem and our test facility in Cowes is continuing the integration testing between the Medium Range Radar (MRR) and the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF). This will conclude in Q1 2015.
And with QNLZ teams continuing to make great progress in blowing fibre, this is allowing Mission Systems equipment installation to gather pace to support the setting to work of the Internal Network Electronics (INE), which is planned to start before the year end.
It’s a similar story in Power & Propulsion (P&P). At our reference facility in Bristol the L3 and P&P sub Alliance teams are working hard to deliver the last major release of IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System) software to QNLZ in February next year. They’re doing this while providing a quick turnaround of any queries on the system as they emerge from the ship.