Aircraft Carriers: Portsmouth

Defence written question – answered on 8th November 2013.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Independent, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to decide on the infrastructure needed for the two new aircraft carriers to be based in Portsmouth; and when he expects the work for that infrastructure to commence.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Preparing Portsmouth for the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers involves significant new investment in the naval base, including the dredging of the harbour and its approach, the strengthening of jetties, installing new power supplies and other infrastructure changes. This work has already commenced and will continue to expand. To support this level of activity, the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend Mr Hammond, announced on 6 November 2013, Hansard, column 251-254, an investment of more than £100 million, over the next three years, in new infrastructure in Portsmouth to ensure that the carriers can be properly maintained and supported. The initial capability will be completed in time for the arrival of the first of class, HMS Queen Elizabeth, at her home port.

Depending on the outcome of the strategic defence and security review in 2015, which will consider the deployment of the second vessel, preparatory work is expected to continue until the end of the decade. Based on the revised programme agreed between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to enter Portsmouth in early 2017.

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