The finishing touches are being put to Portsmouth’s Naval Base to prepare for the arrival of the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier…

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation is working with its contractor to deliver crucial infrastructure worth £30-million to ensure the base’s second operational berth is ready in time for the carrier, which is due to arrive by the end of this year.

One of the final pieces of the project was the installation of 2 Fendered Spacer Units. The FSUs are identical to those which were installed on the Princess Royal Jetty for HMS Queen Elizabeth, however this time they have been constructed by Portsmouth company, rather than being brought in from overseas.

The structures, which measure 17.6 metres by 18.7 metres, slot into the jetty and move up and down with the tide to prevent the ship’s overhanging flight deck from colliding with the jetty. The FSUs took 11 months to build and have now been put into position at Victory Jetty.

They were craned from the yard into the water at Portsmouth Harbour, final trim checks were then carried out and the ballast weights moved to ensure the units were floating level. Finally, the units were towed to their new locations on the jetty face.

Colin Efford, Defence Infrastructure Organisation Project Manager, said: “It’s fantastic to see the finishing touches being put to this important project which has made improvements to the existing Victory and Sheer jetties, so they can support the 65,000-tonne new carrier.

“This has been a challenging but rewarding project and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver infrastructure for such a crucial Naval asset. We are proud to be playing our part to support future Naval capability.”