Eastleigh now building aircraft carriers

HMS QUeen Elizabeth

MOD impression of HMS Queen Elizabeth complete with F16s

A Bishopstoke company is celebrating after being awarded a subcontract to assist in the production of two of the largest and most powerful warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy.

Wessex Galvanizers – who are based on the Tower Industrial Estate off Chickenhall Lane  – will galvanize steel pipework which will be used in the construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

The 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers, that will each be almost three times the length of a football pitch, are due to be handed over to the Ministry of Defence in 2016 and 2018 respectively, and will be deployed worldwide for armed forces’ operations, including the support of war efforts and the provision of disaster relief.

The company which employs 40 people at its Eastleigh site, was appointed by BAE Systems to provide its expert galvanizing service across the entire project, which will involve the steel pipework being dipped in molten zinc at temperatures of up to 450°C in order to protect the metal from corrosion.

Richard Whiddett, Sales Manager at Wessex Galvanizers, commented:

“The team here is absolutely delighted to be involved in such a prestigious project and in being given the opportunity to play a part in the history of the UK Armed Forces.

The galvanizing of the steel used to produce these two fantastic aircraft carriers is vital because seawater is an extremely corrosive environment and this will help protect the ships for many, many years to come.

We are really excited about the prospect of working alongside BAE Systems on this project, and can’t wait to see the finished result.”

Wessex Galvanisers are part of the Wedge Group – who claim they are the largest hot dip galvanizing organisation in the UK with a history dating back over 150 years.

For further information please contact Wedge Group Galvanizing on 01902 630311 or visit www.wedge-galv.co.uk.

  4 comments for “Eastleigh now building aircraft carriers

  1. November 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    What a brilliant result for this local company.
    Well done Wessex Galvanizers. Your contribution will be a part of naval history.

  2. November 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Please reasure me that BAE systems will not be rail-freighting large parts of these aircraft carriers from the Govan shipyard on the river Clyde to Eastleigh, to be hot-dipped galvanised and then be rail-freighted back to the Clyde again…?

    No wonder these defence projects are so expensive…!

  3. Peter Stewart
    November 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I am very pleased for Eastleigh and very pleased to hear we are actually building a couple of aircraft carriers. But would I be right in thinking that we have just scrapped our last aircraft carrier? Would I also be right in thinking that these two new aircraft carriers will be completed several years from now? And would I also be right (anyone know the answer?) whether these two aircraft carriers are being build in Germany? Above all, would I be right in thinking we have just scrapped perhaps the most devastating aircraft in the world (the Harrier)? What are we going to put on these aircraft carriers? Sorry to sound so pessimistic but I cannot believe what our rotten ruling elite are doing to our war infrastructure. REPEAT: Anyone out there able to provide full and proper answers to my questions?

    • November 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      Peter
      the carriers are being assembled in Scotland with sections being made in Portsmouth.

      The two carriers that were decommissioned I think are up for sale. Either for scrap or as a ‘going concern’.

      I saw a report earlier this week saying that the US Marine Corps and US Navy are going to buy the Harriers at a bargin price.

      A national disgrace indeed.

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