Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Aircraft carrier section's journey from Govan to Fife on hold

Section of HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier
The carrier section will take five days to travel 600 miles by sea to Rosyth

A section of aircraft carrier's 600-mile journey around the north coast of Scotland to the Rosyth dockyard in Fife has been put on hold.

The largest hull section of HMS Queen Elizabeth left BAE's shipbuilding hall at Govan two weeks ago and was loaded on to a huge sea going barge.

It had been due to begin its five day journey around the coast to Fife on Monday.

However, the move has been delayed due to weather conditions.

When the 11,000-tonne carrier section does reach Rosyth it will be joined with other sections.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will be the Royal Navy's largest ever warship.

Six shipyards around the UK are involved in building various parts of the ship, which are being assembled in Fife.

The section of hull being moved is more than 80m (262ft) long and 40m (131ft) wide.

It houses two main engine rooms, a hospital complex, dentist, galley and accommodation, including 242 berths.

When assembly is completed, HMS Queen Elizabeth will be a 280m (919ft)-long carrier capable of deploying up to 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft.

The vessel will not be finished until 2016 at the earliest, and may not be ready for active service until 2020, when she will be based in Portsmouth.

The aircraft carrier is the first of two 65,000-tonne ships under construction in Scotland, with work on her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, also under way at Govan in Glasgow.

The project is one of the largest defence orders placed in the UK, with a price tag of £5bn, and is being delivered by BAE Systems, Thales UK and Babcock.

The two ships were saved from defence cuts under the UK coalition government because, it said, it would cost more to cancel the projects than proceed with them.

However, HMS Prince of Wales will be mothballed and kept as a reserve vessel.

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