A £30m deal to provide dry dock maintenance to two of the world’s most sophisticated aircraft carriers has been signed, helping to secure 300 jobs in Scotland.
The 10-year agreement will see the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales carriers undergo dry dockings for planned maintenance and repair at Babcock International Group’s Rosyth facilities.
Jeremy Quin, defence procurement minister, said: “The Queen Elizabeth class carriers are the flagships of our Royal Navy and it’s crucial they remain ready to protect and defend the UK and our allies.
“Both carriers had their final construction in Rosyth, and I’m pleased they will return for their dry dock maintenance, supporting vital jobs and skills in Scotland.”
The UK Government said the contract would help sustain 300 jobs across the Rosyth dockyard as well as the wider supply chain.
The 65,000 tonne carriers cost taxpayers £3bn each and are used to launch the F35 Joint Strike Fighter fast jets across the globe.
HMS Prince of Wales recently supported Exercise Cold Response – the largest Arctic exercise in 30 years, which saw 2,000 British personnel join 26 other nations off the shores of Norway – while her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth has been carrying out training in waters close to the UK.
Sean Donaldson, Babcock’s managing director of marine engineering and systems at the Rosyth site, said his company was “delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide dry dockings for the aircraft carriers over the next decade”.
“The investments in our Rosyth infrastructure and facilities over the last 10 years mean we are ideally placed to deliver projects of this size and scale,” he said.
“The programme will also benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of Babcock’s skilled workforce which is steeped in carrier experience. It’s a really proud moment for us.”
The UK Government said the contract was awarded by Defence Equipment & Support through a robust and transparent competition, encouraging strong bids from viable dockyards.
Iain Stewart, UK Government Scotland minister, said: “Defence not only plays a crucial part in the security of the United Kingdom but also contributes significantly to delivering high-skilled jobs and investment in Scotland, not least through shipbuilding.”