Royal Navy: New logistics centre officially opens to cap off £350m Portsmouth investment project to support HMS Queen Elizabeth carriers

ROUNDS of applause echoed around a new Royal Navy logistics centre as it was officially opened today.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 2:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 2:26 pm

The new Queen Elizabeth Carrier (QEC) Forward Logistics Centre allows for crucial maintenance support to be give to HMS Queen Elizabeth and other naval ships.

It was built in Portsmouth Naval Base as part of a £350m investment programme in the city and currently employs 550 people.

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The Queen Elizabeth Class Logistics Centre was officially unveiled at the Royal Navy on Tuesday, June 21. Pictured is: (l-r) Commodore John Voyce OBE and Jeremy Quin MP, Minister of state for defence procurement. Picture: Sarah Standing (210622-690)

Speaking at the unveiling, defence procurement minister, Jeremy Quin, 53, said it caps off sustained investment into the carrier programme.

He told The News: ‘It’s a fantastic facility, a £7m build, and what it means is we have right next to the carrier, on the dockyard, the ability to meet the needs and maintain the persistence of our carriers.

‘That really helps to ensure that we have the parts available to support the carriers and keep them going.

‘This marks the end of a 19-year period of heavy investment supporting the carrier programme.’

Pictured is: (l-r) Commodore John Voyce and Jeremy Quin MP, Minister of state for defence procurement. Picture: Sarah Standing (210622-7239).

Mr Quin added the staffing levels at the centre are sustainable for decades.

He said the building is also future proofed, harnessing renewable energy sources to supply the warehouse.

The roof holds a photo-voltaic array consisting of 678 panels, generating 250kW of power, and 1MW of energy is produced from the car park – equivalent to several hundred homes.

Everything from critical engineering parts to lightbulbs will be funnelled through the site.

The Queen Elizabeth Class Logistics Centre was officially unveiled at the Royal Navy on Tuesday, June 21. Picture: Sarah Standing (210622-728).

This allow maintenance on vessels such as HMS Queen Elizabeth to be conducted quickly, so they can go on operations faster.

The minister said the £7m building, next to the port’s carrier berths, is essential to supporting vessels at the heart of the Royal Navy.

‘Supporting the carriers is important for Portsmouth and the jobs created here’, he said.

‘It’s the first time in many years that the size of the Royal Navy is projected to grow.

Pictured is: Craig Holmes, team leader, at The Queen Elizabeth Class Logistics Centre. Picture: Sarah Standing (210622-7246).

‘We’re doing that because that’s what the threat requires, we need a Royal Navy that is more persistent, present, and that is able to project globally.

‘It makes things more efficient and effective.’

The QEC programme began in 2003, which also saw £100m invested in Scotland.

Commodore John Voyce OBE, who has served on carriers including HMS Illustrious and HMS Invincible, was pleased to see the building operational.

‘It’s fantastic, and this logistics centre is the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle,’ Commodore Voyce said.

‘We want our carriers at sea, and this reduces the time that they are in dock, as repairs can be done quickly.’

It is estimated that the building can store 2,600 pallets of parts for Royal Navy aircraft-carriers. Picture: Sarah Standing (210622-694)

The contract for the building was completed by BAE Systems and Francis Construction.

Melvin Young, the programme manager for BAE Systems, who oversaw the construction of the warehouse, praised the project’s success.

The 60-year-old said: ‘It was a tremendous construction project, using 20 different contractors over 12 months.

‘It was on time, on budget, and within industry standard.’

Craig Holmes, 38, works as a team leader at the centre.

He estimates 2,600 pallets worth of supplies can be stored, allowing them to maintain stock levels for parts and prep materials more easily.

He said: ‘This is a massive change, as we can store everything where we can all see it, which is a change from the previous temporary areas.

‘We can give the Royal Navy the support they need and deserve.’