News story: New head of alliance delivering nation’s Carriers amongst appointments welcomed by Defence Secretary


Admiral Lister will take a sabbatical from his Royal Navy career to lead the Aircraft Carrier Alliance’s (ACA) continued delivery of the most powerful warships ever built for the Royal Navy.

The two 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, will lead the UK’s maritime forces for the next fifty years. With the former having now sailed into her home port of Portsmouth and the latter being officially named next week, Admiral Lister will continue to drive the programme forward and guide the second Carrier through to delivery.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

Following HMS Queen Elizabeth’s historic entry into Portsmouth, our focus is now on her final preparations for commissioning and the delivery of our second mighty carrier, HMS Prince of Wales. With his substantial experience, Admiral Lister is the logical choice to keep up that momentum.

Our two new aircraft carriers and F-35 Lightning jets are an investment in British security, prosperity and our global role. They will transform the UK’s ability to project power around the world whether independently or working closely with our allies.

Sir Simon brings his knowledge of complex engineering projects and leadership of major programmes. During his career, he has served as the Royal Navy’s Chief Naval Engineer Officer and will leave Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) where he led the delivery of the maritime equipment programme and fleet support.

Announcing Sir Simon’s appointment, Sir Peter Gershon, Chairman of the ACA said:

Simon has extensive knowledge of the Aircraft Carrier programme having been our Vice Chairman since 2013. I’m delighted that he’ll take this full time role and wish him every success.

An alliance between the Ministry of Defence and industry, the ACA has brought together the best of British industry, with construction across six cities and involving more than 10,000 people. This includes 700 businesses and suppliers, 800 apprentices and nearly 8,000 jobs at shipyards around the UK.

The role became vacant following the appointment of Ian Booth as the first Chief Executive of the new Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA), which the Secretary of State also confirmed today. Following the successful completion of the first phase of sea trials for HMS Queen Elizabeth and her arrival in her home port of Portsmouth, Booth has been appointed into this critical role, reflecting his proven track record in delivering complex defence programmes.

Booth brings a wealth of public and private sector experience to a key programme for the UK’s defence and security. In addition to his previous leadership of the ACA, Booth also previously ran the Typhoon airframe programme and was Managing Director of both the Astute Submarine programme at BAE Systems and the joint venture Fleet Support Ltd.

A key commitment of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the SDA was created in April 2017 to focus on building and supporting the UK’s nuclear submarines.

Booth will now turn his proven skills to that task of replacing the UK’s four Vanguard Class submarines with the new Dreadnought Class – a £31 billion project equivalent in scale to Crossrail – which will provide the UK with its continuous at sea nuclear deterrent for the next 30 years. Booth will also oversee the delivery of the remainder of the powerful Astute Class attack submarines and lead day-to-day support of the existing fleet of Trafalgar, Astute and Vanguard Class submarines.

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