THE captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth has praised the ‘unflinching’ work of BAE staff in Portsmouth for getting the aircraft carrier ready for her departure today.
Captain Steve Moorhouse said maintaining the largest ship in the Royal Navy is ‘no small undertaking’ - as more than 250,000 man-hours went into getting the carrier seaworthy since its return to the city in July.
Work conducted by BAE, which is contracted to maintain the ship on behalf of the navy, involved laying 18km of fibre optic cabling, which would reach from Portsmouth to Newport on the Isle of Wight.
Technicians from the company upgraded 27 individual systems and pieces of equipment, as well as replacing 750m2 of flight deck and hangar coatings.
Captain Moorhouse said: 'I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those BAE Systems personnel involved in the Carrier enterprise for their hard work and unflinching support in preparing HMS Queen Elizabeth for her forthcoming Westlant 19 deployment.’
The Head of Queen Elizabeth Carrier Support, Dean Kimber, said it had been ‘a real privilege’ for the support team in Portsmouth to work on the ship.
He said: ‘We continue to cement our relationship with the ships company delivering another programme milestone on time with the ultimate goal of making both aircraft carriers fully operational.’
HMS Queen Elizabeth was sailing back for scheduled maintenance work earlier this year when a salt water pipe burst, causing 200 tonnes of water to flood a deck of the ship.
She set sail for operational tests off the east coast of America, as part of the Westlant 19 deployment operation, earlier today.