The Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), which is building HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales in shipyards across the U.K., has opened a visitor center in Rosyth Dockyard.
The facility, which has a view of both HMS Queen Elizabeth across the non-tidal basin and the Forth bridges behind it, has been created to allow small groups of visitors to learn more about the Alliance and the construction of the two largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy.
Featuring an upstairs meeting room and viewing area there is also a dedicated visitor experience gallery downstairs that plots the history of aircraft carriers, the ACA and the future capability of the nation’s flagships.
Ian Booth, Managing Director of the ACA, said, “With several years of the program still to go, having a dedicated area where industry professionals and select visitors can safely view 65,000 metric tons of aircraft carrier and find out more about its unique construction and history as well as their capability in supporting our armed forces is incredibly useful.
“We receive lots of requests from interested parties to visit the carriers and unfortunately, with the ships still being under construction and safety being our number one priority, we cannot grant access to anyone who isn’t working on critical activities. This is a great option for those with a vested interest in the carriers to see them come to life in a safe and comfortable environment.”
The opening event included the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Rt. Hon. Donald Wilson, Lord Provost of Fife, Rt. Hon. Jim Leishman and the Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr. Donna Jones, who was representing the city which will be the base port of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales when they are handed over to the Royal Navy. They were joined by pupils from Auchmuty High School in Glenrothes, who were the first guests to experience the visitor centre facilities.
The Rt Hon. Donald Wilson, who officially opened the center with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, said, “These two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers continue to be an important provider of employment across Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom
, with an enduring legacy of developing skills and future careers in engineering.”
The aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defense.
The Queen Elizabeth Class will be the centerpiece of Britain’s defense capability for the 21st century. Each 65,000-metric-ton aircraft carrier will provide the armed forces with a four-acre military operating base, which can travel up to 500 miles per day to be deployed anywhere around the world. Operating the Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II jets and a number of types of helicopter, the QE Class will be versatile enough to be used across the full spectrum of military activity from warfighting to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.