BAE Systems has been involved in the design, build and support of HMS Queen Elizabeth for over 20 years. We led the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, and built the largest sections of the hull and the island structures at our sites in Glasgow and Portsmouth. We also designed and manufactured the radars, combat systems and small boats, and delivered the training programmes for flight crews and sailors on board.
HMS Queen Elizabeth was formally commissioned on 7th December 2017, at which point BAE Systems took over support of the vessel from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.
I am proud to have held key roles in both the build and support of HMS Queen Elizabeth over nearly 20 years. I worked in Scotstoun and Rosyth as the programme Head of Commissioning, Head of Integration, and Commissioning Director as part of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance alongside Babcock, Thales, and the UK MOD, and then as the Queen Elizabeth Delivery Director. From undocking to her delivery in Portsmouth I led the multi-disciplined team that finished the outfit, commissioned the systems and conducted delivery sea trials. This stands out as one of the proudest achievements of my career.
In October 2017 I took over as Warship Support Director at BAE Systems Maritime Services in Portsmouth, leading the company's Warship Support teams in the support of HMS Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the Portsmouth Flotilla, later including her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales. The support and expertise offered by the Class Output Management and Operations teams has been crucial in maintaining and increasing the ship's operational capabilities, ensuring the highly-successful entry into service and first Carrier strike group deployment.
HMS Queen Elizabeth has been a source of enormous national pride with many impressive accomplishments already under her belt since her arrival in Portsmouth. These have included air and sea trials off the Eastern Seaboard of the USA in 2018, a full trial-run Carrier Strike Group during Westlant 19, Exercise Strike Warrior and, of course, Carrier Strike Group 21, and a number of other military operations. She has transited the Atlantic, sailed down the East Coast of America, the Mediterranean, and the Indo Pacific. She has hosted dignitaries ranging from Royalty to Prime Ministers and Presidents. HMS Queen Elizabeth has been and continues to be a potent symbol of Global Britain around the world, and the nation's flagship in every sense.
During her time based out of Portsmouth, BAE Systems has dedicated over a million employee hours to the support of HMS Queen Elizabeth, both at home and while deployed. We in Warship Support have conducted regular planned and corrective maintenance, and have upgraded many ships capabilities from mechanical systems, flight decks, IT systems, and combat systems. BAE Systems also planned and managed her deployed support period in Guam during Carrier Strike 21, co-ordinating teams of BAE Systems Employees, partners, and MOD personnel.
Overall HMS Queen Elizabeth's impressive track record in her first five years in Portsmouth has been the result of years of effort by many organisations working closely together to deliver on the Royal Navy's vision. I am proud and grateful that BAE Systems, Maritime Services Warship Support and I, have been able to play such a central role in this success.