HMS Queen Elizabeth, the nation’s future flagship and the first of Britain’s two new 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers, is set to be formally commissioned into the Royal Navy by Her Majesty the Queen today.
Ahead of this, Ms Baldwin was keen to recognise that the construction of the 280 metre-long ship would never have been possible without the essential work undertaken by small and medium sized enterprises from around Britain.
Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said: “On behalf of Defence, the government and the whole of the United Kingdom, I would like to thank the hundreds of businesses around the country for the millions of hours they’ve spent equipping our ships in what has been an immense nationwide enterprise.
“Their Herculean efforts showcase our great British talent and saw HMS Queen Elizabeth complete her 2017 sea trials with flying colours as she prepares to project our interests right across the world.”
Over 700 British SME’s have supported the build of the aircraft carriers, with construction involving more than 10,000 people including more than 800 apprentices.
Chief of Materiel Ships at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Sir Simon Bollom said: “I am incredibly proud of how DE&S and our colleagues across Defence have worked in collaboration with businesses across the UK to deliver a programme of such global significance.
“The success of the Queen Elizabeth class is a testament to the thousands of people who have worked on the programme and the vital skills they bring. I look forward to continuing our important relationship with industry to bring the second ship, HMS Prince of Wales, into service.”
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