Tuesday, 16 August 2011

QUEEN ELIZABETH carrier - Lower Block 03

The first Clydebuilt section of the new aircraft carrier being constructed by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance for the Royal Navy began its slow passage to Rosyth aboard the barge AMT TRADER. The module, known as Lower Block 03, had been loaded onto the barge at Govan at the end of July.

Taking charge of the barge as it made its way downriver were local tugs SVITZER MILFORD and ANGLEGARTH, while Clyde Marine's BATTLER had gone ahead of them clearing any debris from their paths.

Controlling the aft end of the barge was AYTON CROSS.  The full scale of the module can be gauged by the personnel standing on the deck of the barge.

A broadside view of the barge and its tugs as it passes Port Glasgow gives further indication of the size of the module. It weighs around 8,000 tonnes and is 63 metres in length.

Once it had reached the Tail of the Bank, another tug was waiting to take over for the 600-mile tow around the north of Scotland to the Forth, where assembly of the module with other parts of the new carrier is taking place at Rosyth. The Italian-flagged tug ERACLEA is seen here making fast to the semi-submersible barge as another Svitzer tug, SVITZER PEMBROKE, stands off. Also visible is BATTLER, waiting to take off personnel.