Princess Anne has officially named the jetty, which will home the Royal Navy’s giant new Aircraft Carriers in Portsmouth.
Her Royal Highness unveiled a plaque at Portsmouth Naval Base on 20 March 2017 officially naming the vast berth as ‘The Princess Royal Jetty’.
The jetty will be home to the Royal Navy’s two new 65,000 tonne class aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales. Formerly known as Middle Slip Jetty, the berth has been upgraded and strengthened to support the carriers as part of a raft of infrastructure upgrades taking place ahead of the arrival of the first ship – HMS Queen Elizabeth – later this year.
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has worked with VolkerStevin to deliver the package of infrastructure needed for the carriers into their home port of Portsmouth. The works included bespoke navigational lights high-voltage electrical supply and specialist carrier-specific gangways, known as ‘brows’ – all of which are a crucial element of the £100m programme of works.
The Princess Royal met Rob Coupe, managing director and Gerrit Smitt, project manager, both of VolkerStevin. Rob commented “VolkerStevin is proud to have played a central role in the delivery of this nationally significant and challenging infrastructure project”.
’’The Portsmouth Naval Base Commander, Commodore Jeremy Rigby CBE ADC, hosted the visit by The Princess Royal, who as Commodore-in-Chief for Portsmouth, is a frequent visitor to the naval base and takes a keen interest in activities there.
“It was a privilege to welcome Her Royal Highness back into the naval base to officially name this historic jetty,” Cdre Rigby said. “Work continues at a pace to get our naval base ready for the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth later this year and the excitement builds as we now enter the final stages of work, testing and training ahead of her arrival.”
Harriett Baldwin, Minister for Defence Procurement, said “The work on The Princess Royal Jetty is a fantastic example of how we are investing in the future of the Royal Navy and is the culmination of £100m of infrastructure upgrades within Portsmouth in preparation for our two new aircraft carriers. The Queen Elizabeth class carriers, together with our F-35 jets will transform our ability to project power around the world.”
On the 10th March, the giant American supply ship, USNS Robert E Peary, tested the strength of the new jetty by coming alongside in Portsmouth. The US ship, which despite its mammoth size is still 200ft shorter than the Queen Elizabeth carriers, was the first vessel to use the jetty since its completion.