New bridge sails under Forth bridges

110213 Arrival of latest aircraft carrier section between forth bridges.
110213 Arrival of latest aircraft carrier section between forth bridges.

The 700-tonne bridge of HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed under the Forth Bridges on this week as it made its way to Babcock’s Rosyth Dockyard.

The Forward Island, known as Upper Block 07, was constructed by BAE Systems in Portsmouth and transported by sea to Roysth, where the new aircraft carrier is being built.

The massive section contains the main ship’s bridge and vital mission systems compartments. It also houses a mess and pantry, chart house, stores and accommodation for the captain and navigation staff.

Programme director, Ian Booth said: “The arrival of the Forward Island is a key stage in the programme to deliver HMS Queen Elizabeth. This iconic section will house the ship’s bridge from where the vessel will be commanded. Seeing it arrive at Rosyth is a proud moment and underlines just how far the Aircraft Carrier Alliance has come over the last few months.

“Current planning will see HMS Queen Elizabeth structurally complete towards the end of this year.”

The Forward Island has been fitted with a 78-tonne lifting frame to allow the Goliath Crane, which is based at Rosyth, to lift it onto HMS Queen Elizabeth next month.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the first aircraft carrier to use an innovative design of two islands. The second ‘Aft Island’ will operate as an aircraft control tower and is under construction at BAE Systems in Scotstoun, Glasgow.