26 March 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
The delayed construction of the Royal Navy's two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers took a step forward this week, with the announcement of equipment sub-contracts totalling £80 million.
The deals included £57 million for insulation systems, £25 million for communication systems and £1 million for water treatment.
Quentin Davies, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, said the deals were with UK companies and would create jobs in addition to moving the project on.
"The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are vitally important to our future defence capabilities, allowing us to project air power at a time and place of our choosing."
Changes in arrangements have delayed the manufacture of the two new aircraft carriers for up to two years (Web news, 16 December 2008).
Tony Graham, head of capital ships within MOD's defence equipment & support, said sub-contracts were now placed for almost 40 per cent of the total value of the materials and equipments needed to build the ships.
Last month the Queen gave her formal approval for the new class of aircraft carrier to bear her name.