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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 February 2008, 16:00 GMT
Shipyard to build carriers' hulls
Appledore was taken over by Babcock as part of a sale by DML
The future of a Devon shipyard and the 160 people who work there has been secured for up to five years.

Appledore yard, owned by Babcock Marine, will help build hull sections for the UK's two next generation of aircraft carriers.

The 65,000 tonne vessels, will cost a total of 3.8bn and be assembled at a dry dock in Rosyth, Scotland, also owned by Babcock.

It comes after Babcock announced 600 jobs were to go at Devonport Dockyard.

'Long time coming'

The vessels, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will be the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy, nearly three times the size of the current Invincible-class carriers.

They are expected to be completed between 2014 and 2016.

Babcock, which is part of the UK Aircraft Carrier Alliance, secured the deal for the carriers in July 2007.

The Appledore work has come out of Babcock's takeover of the Devonport yard in Plymouth in June 2007 from previous owner DML.

DML bought Appledore in 2004, and Babcock kept it as part of its buying of Devonport.

Babcock Marine confirmed that it was axing the 600 Devonport posts in the next financial year. About 4,300 people are employed in Plymouth.

But the company confirmed that carrier component work would keep Appledore busy for some time.

Archie Bethel of Babcock Marine said: "It will guarantee jobs that are already there over a four or five-year period. That will maintain the current workforce there over that period."

Dry dock renovation for carriers
11 Feb 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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