The Aircraft Carrier Alliance project has passed two more significant milestones with the delivery of the first MT30 gas turbine followed soon after by the roll-out of Upper Block 07. Rolls-Royce completed installation of the first main engine in late January. The MT30, at 36 megawatts (around 50,000hp), is the world’s most powerful marine gas turbine. Two MT30s will be installed in each of the RN’s new aircraft carriers and will provide two-thirds of the 109 megawatts needed to power the 65,000-tonne ships.
The UB07, better known as the forward island and perhaps the most easily recognisable module built to date, emerged from the ship hall onto a barge at Portsmouth on 1 February. The module, which incorporates the navigation and observation bridges, will be placed on the flight deck in March by the Goliath crane via a 78-tonne lifting cradle built in to the superstructure. The six-deck-high structure will eventually be topped by a long-range radar.