‘Standing underneath is like being in a cathedral’

Tom Gifford at the front HMS Queen Elizabeth. ''Construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth at Babcock's, Rosyth shipyard, Scotland. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (123920-409)
Tom Gifford at the front HMS Queen Elizabeth. ''Construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth at Babcock's, Rosyth shipyard, Scotland. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (123920-409)
8/8/17

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QE Discussion at Trafalgar Gate, Portsmouth.

Sam Lockwood, QEC Maintenance Engineer at the Amutiny Centre.

Photography by Habibur Rahman PPP-170908-002128006

WATCH: The big role Portsmouth apprentices played in the HMS Queen Elizabeth project

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ON ONE deck, workers are laying floor panels while around the corner their colleagues are painting walls.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is a hive of activity as contractors busy themselves with putting the ship together.

The task is a mammoth one, there are huge blocks of the warship which need to be lifted into place by crane and welded together.

Meanwhile, miles of cables are being laid inside the sections already completed and equipment is installed and tested.

On the flight deck, shipping containers with their ends cut off are being used as makeshift tents to protect workers from the typical Scottish weather.

Tom Gifford, the shipbuild integration manager, said: ‘It’s a great project and there is always something happening.

‘Historically we have big empty ships and then we fit them out but here we have been fitting them out first and putting them together.

‘Standing underneath the carrier, beneath the concrete blocks holding her up, is like standing in a cathedral.

‘It’s wonderful.’

Meanwhile, closer to home, the ship’s technological systems are being tested at HMS Collingwood in Fareham.

Kit including the command system is being tested on Portsdown Hill and transmitters and radar are trialled at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.