New pontoon to support UK aircraft carriers

Pontoon Pontoon for the British Royal Navy. Image: Intermarine UK
Industry Database

Intermarine UK has completed the construction of a British Royal Navy pontoon to assist with getting on and off aircraft carriers in Portsmouth.

The 24x12m pontoon was built in four sections over a period of two and a half months. Each part was then bolted together to create a floating platform with a lightship displacement of 86t. The bolted I-section framework in the middle of the pontoon carries a soft patch deck area of approximately 16x6m.

Intermarine UK opened a 2,000sqm fabrication and welding facility at Portland Port at the start of 2018. Over the past year it has spent over GB£500,000 on machinery for the site.

Timely equipment purchase

Mark Bowden, Intermarine UK production manager, said: “All the equipment we’ve installed in the workshop has been used to produce this pontoon, from the hydraulic rolling machine to the CNC press brake.

“Our CNC plasma cutting machine is ideal for any steel project and on this occasion it enabled us to cut out all the panels required for the pontoon. It removed the need to mark the panels by hand, cut them and then dress them, speeding up the whole process and increasing productivity.”

The pontoon will be moored to the stern of either HMS Queen Elizabeth or HMS Prince of Wales when anchored in Portsmouth, allowing crew and passengers to board and disembark at the rear of the ship.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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