Thursday, 30 June 2011

Your Future Royal Navy

DWARFED by a huge mass of steel, workers at Portsmouth Naval Base watched as part of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier was moved slowly into position yesterday.

A 3,400-ton section of HMS Queen Elizabeth hovered two inches from the floor as it travelled 100 feet across BAE Systems’ shipbuilding hall on 520 wheels.
The move came as work gets under way on transforming the grey hull into somewhere sailors will work, rest and sleep at sea.
Cabins and bathrooms have been put in and miles of electrical wiring and piping have been installed throughout.
Named Lower Block 02, the super-structure is as long as 10 double-decker buses.

But it will form just a third of the midship of the 65,000-ton carrier due to be completed later this decade.
‘Every day I go through that door into the hall and think “wow”,’ said project manager Paul Bowsher who leads a 1,500 team on the Portsmouth side of the UK-wide project.

On 16 February 2010 Astute left Faslane for sea trials and dived for the first time on 18 February[ and was commissioned on 27 August 2010, when she was given her HMS prefix, in a ceremony watched over by her patron, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

 Unlimited range

The 7,400-tonne Astute's nuclear reactor will not need to be refuelled during the boat's 25 year service. Since the submarine can purify water and air, she will be able to circumnavigate the planet without resurfacing. The main limit is that the submarine will only be able to carry three months' supply of food for 98 crew.


Astute is equipped to carry up to 38 Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles, costing approximately £500,000 each and are capable of hitting land targets. The Tomahawk missiles are capable of hitting a target to within a few metres if the target is within the range of 1,240 miles.

Project management

The launching of Astute was 43 months behind schedule, and the Astute class were £900 million over budget. The delay was caused primarily by the problems of using 3D CAD; Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram said in 2006 that "due to the complexity of the programme, the benefits that CAD was envisaged to provide were more difficult to realise than either MoD or the contractor had assumed."[ Other issues were the insufficient capabilities within GEC-Marconi which became evident after contract-award, and poor programme management. BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defence reached an agreement in February 2003 whereby they would invest £250 million and £430 million respectively to address the programme's difficulties.
Among the changes to accelerate the project, psychologists were consulted to improve communication and management effectiveness. Murray also reduced manpower requirements by using US construction methods, specifically those of the Electric Boat company. For example, submarine sections were built vertically so that gravity could assist assembly.

The United Kingdom's Type 45 destroyer (also known as the D or Daring class) is an air defence destroyer programme of the Royal Navy which will replace its Type 42 destroyers. The first ship in the class, HMS Daring, was launched on 1 February 2006 and commissioned on 23 July 2009.The ships are now built by BAE Systems Surface Ships. The first three ships were assembled by BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions from partially prefabricated "blocks" built by BAE Systems itself and VT Group.
The UK originally sought to procure air defence ships as part of the eight-nation NFR-90 project and later the Horizon Common New Generation Frigate programme with France and Italy. The Type 45s take advantage of some Horizon development work and utilise the Sea Viper missile system (the SAMPSON radar variant of the Principal Anti-Air Missile System). In 2009, delivery of the ships' Aster missiles was delayed due to a failure during testing.
A subsequent investigation revealed a manufacturing fault with a single batch of missiles and delivery of the Aster 30 is back on schedule.
In an "intensive attack" a single Type 45 could simultaneously track, engage and destroy more targets than five Type 42 destroyers operating together.The Daring class are the largest escorts ever built for the Royal Navy in terms of displacement.After Daring's launch on 1 February 2006 former First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West stated that it would be the Royal Navy's most capable destroyer ever, as well as the world's best air-defence ship.

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