Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 15:00 UK

Aircraft carrier parts leave yard

Bow section being put on barge
The steel sections, weighing 20 tonnes each, are being transported by barge

The first steel bow sections of one of Britain's new aircraft carriers have left Appledore shipyard in North Devon.

Each weighing 20 tonnes, they are being transported by barge up to Rosyth shipyard in Scotland for assembly.

More than 100 Appledore staff have been working on the sections for the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.

The contract, awarded to yard-owners Babcock Marine, is worth £50m. The aircraft carriers are the largest vessels ever built for the Royal Navy.

HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales were expected to enter service in 2014 and 2016 but are now likely to enter into service up to two years later than planned.

The whole project, which is costing £4bn, is expected to create, or underpin, a total of 10,000 jobs at shipyards in Devon, Portsmouth, Barrow-in-Furness, Glasgow and Rosyth.

The contract for Appledore, which led to 14 apprentices being taken on, is expected to sustain 150 jobs at the yard.

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