Weighing up new carriers

HEAVY  A huge piece of one of the new carriers is weighed
HEAVY A huge piece of one of the new carriers is weighed
A Merlin helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been training with HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth Naval Base as part of her Rotary Wing Trials

Helicopter puts flight deck crew through its paces

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BAE Systems engineers have lifted three huge sections of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers to weigh them before they are shipped to Scotland.

Staff at Portsmouth Naval Base spent six days clearing two sections of the stern and a larger mid-section of the hull for the weigh-in.

The steel sections were lifted an inch off the floor by hydraulic load cells which gave an electronic reading of their weight and distribution.

The sections will soon be put on barges to go to Rosyth where the two 65,000-tonne ships are being assembled.

The stern sections, called Lower Block 05, which weigh 1,820 tonnes in total, will leave Portsmouth on April 29.

The mid-section, Lower Block 02, which weighs 6,000 tonnes, will leave the yard on May 25.

BAE’s carrier project manager in Portsmouth Paul Bowsher said: ‘We are at a very exciting stage of the programme now. The blocks will look very impressive when they pass the Round Tower.’