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Business Contribution to Britain's Biggest Warships Recognised


06 December 2017

The Defence Minister recognised the vital contribution that businesses have made to the construction of the Royal Navy’s largest ever ships. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the nation’s future flagship and the first of Britain’s two new 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers, will be formally commissioned into the Royal Navy by Her Majesty the Queen. 

But the construction of the 280 metre-long ship would never have been possible without the essential work undertaken by small and medium sized enterprises (SME) from around Britain.

Over 700 British SME’s have supported the build of the aircraft carriers in what has been a truly national endeavour. The programme has brought together the best of British industry, with construction involving more than 10,000 people including more than 800 apprentices.

In 2015/2016 the Ministry of Defence invested over £18bn with UK industry, supporting more than 120,000 full-time jobs, and benefiting local economies.

Last year saw the MOD’s direct spend with SME’s increase by over 10% across the country as it continues to make it easier for them to win defence business.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin has launched initiatives such as a new Supplier Portal, which brings together a range of useful information for new and prospective suppliers in one place for the first time, a dedicated Twitter account to flag opportunities to SMEs and simplified contracts for lower-value, less complex procurements.

Next year the new F-35B Lightning II stealth jets, the most advanced warplane in the world, will start flight trials from the ship, and HMS Queen Elizabeth is on track to be fully deployable anywhere in the world by 2021.

Both of the UK’s aircraft carriers are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between industry and the UK Ministry of Defence.

Source: MOD