Skidding of final sections for the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier, UK
ALE has skidded two sections of HMS Prince of Wales, the first Aircraft Carrier in Rosyth Dockyard, UK, weighing 13,050t and 26,500t respectively.
ALE was contracted by Babcock International Groupon behalf of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance to jack-up the modules from their supports and skid the lighter module approximately 94m and the heavier module approximately 18m.
ALE used a total of 35 skidshoes for the lighter module and 58 skidshoes for the heavier module, both with a minimum capacity of 500t. Approximately 650m – 800m of skid track was required to skid each section.
The skidshoes used for the skidding operation consisted of a built-in jacking system that could be easily installed under the specially-designed building supports. The supports had been placed on five rows of dock blocks to prevent sagging and provide easy access under the modules.
During the final stages of the skidding operation ALE crew members maintained constant contact with the Babcock International’s dimensional control team to manipulate the sections as best as possible to create a suitable fit-up to the other sections.
These installations represented a major milestone towards the completion of the largest warships to ever be built for the Royal Navy.