Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 14:39 UK

Carrier work boosts Scots firms

HMS carrier (artist impression)
The new Royal Navy aircraft carriers will weigh 65,000 tonnes each

Fife has won a 13m share of a 235m defence contract to provide power and propulsion equipment for new Royal Navy aircraft carriers.

Rolls Royce's Dalgety Bay plant, which employs 170 staff, will provide rudders and stabilisers for HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

At 65,000 tonnes each, they will be two of the world's largest warships.

Glasgow-based power conversion specialist Converteam has also clinched a 26m contract.

Its 170 workers at Thornliebank will be providing the electric equipment which controls and monitors the power for the propulsion system and motors.

The stabiliser work will be done on site by Rolls Royce at Dalgety Bay, while the rudder work will be subcontracted.

Skilled workers

Rolls Royce's managing director at Dalgety Bay, John Nicholson, said: "This is welcome news for employees at Dalgety Bay.

"We're now working with our suppliers with a view to starting manufacture on-site early next year."

The work being carried out by Converteam involves making medium voltage switchboards, electric converters and filters.

General manager Tony Wright said: "It's a testament to the skilled workers here in Glasgow that we've won such a prestigious contract. We use many local suppliers so it's good news for them too."

The new carriers represent a series of firsts for the fleet and this latest propulsion technology has not yet been seen in the Royal Navy on this scale
Admiral Bob Love
MoD

The MoD has placed a total of 235m of contracts for gas turbines, generators, motors, power distribution equipment, platform management systems, propellers, shafts, steering gear, rudders and stabilisers.

Each carrier's two propellers will be driven by an electric motor, making them the largest warships in the world to use electric rather than mechanical drive technology.

The motors allow the diesel and gas turbine-driven generators that power them to be located high in the ship, freeing up space in the hull and providing greater resilience to battle damage.

Two state-of-the-art gas turbines for each ship will be built in Bristol, and will be coupled to generators to be built in Rugby.

Admiral Bob Love said: "The new carriers represent a series of firsts for the fleet and this latest propulsion technology has not yet been seen in the Royal Navy on this scale.

"This is a step change in the way our ships are powered and, as well as boosting capacity, will significantly improve fuel efficiency, enabling uninterrupted long-distance deployments and reducing running costs."


SEE ALSO
Carriers deal 'a dream come true'
03 Jul 08 |  Scotland

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