The single largest piece of the future HMS Queen Elizabeth has been completed 34 months after the first steel was cut. The 11,300-tonne aft section, known as Lower Block 04, will house the aircraft carrier’s two main engine rooms, medical facilities, galley and crew accommodation. The block, which stands 20m high, 40m wide and 80m long, accounts for 20 per cent of the overall weight of the ship. It was loaded onto the sea-going barge AMT Trader at Govan in mid-October 2012. Due to the weather, the tow headed south on 4 November, taking a longer route round the coast of England.
The next major sections to be delivered are the two islands. The forward island is nearing completion at Portsmouth and the aft island, which will house all the flight control operations, at Scotstoun. Work on Prince of Wales is also progressing well. The ship passed a milestone in late October when teams in Portsmouth lifted in two Wärtsilä diesel generators.