BAE Systems, together with Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence (the Aircraft Carrier Alliance) has ventured on a major endeavor with the construction of the biggest aircraft carrier ever to be built in Britain, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is the first unit from the Queen Elizabeth Class of aircraft carriers.
This challenging project is lead by a vision brought to life in the following video:
The arrival of the iconic 700-tonne forward island of the HMS Queen Elizabeth, marked a significant milestone in the construction process of the naval giant. The iconic Forward Island, known as Upper Block 07 or the hub of the ship, as it contains the main bridge and approximately 100 vital mission systems compartments, arrived safely in Rosyth on February 11.
Later this year it will be joined by the aft island, home to Flyco – flying control – from where flight deck operations involving the ship’s air group of F35 Joint Strike Fighters, Merlin, Chinooks and other helicopters, will be directed.
Queen Elizabeth is due to be launched – more accurately ‘floated out’ of the gigantic dry dock – next year, ready to undertake sea trials in 2017, ready for fast jet trials with the F35 Joint Strike Fighter the following year.
HMS Prince of Wales will be the second of the Royal Navy’s two Queen Elizabeth class Aircraft carriers and is scheduled to enter service in 2018.
The ship will be assembled at Rosyth Royal Dockyard using blocks built by participating shipyards. Once in service the ship will be officially affiliated with the city of Liverpool, in the United Kingdom. Construction began in May 2011 with the first steel being cut by Dr Liam Fox on 26 May.
The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will be the biggest and most powerful surface warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy. At 65,000 tonnes each, with a maximum speed of 25 knots, they will represent a step change in capability, enabling the delivery of increased strategic effect and influence around the world.
The two flagships are 10,000 tonnes heavier than the last traditional-style carriers to serve the Royal Navy – HMS Ark Royal and Eagle, which paid off in the 1970s – and much larger than any current warship based in Portsmouth.
The Queen Elizabeth Class will be utilised by all three sectors of the Armed Forces and will provide significant operational bases, which can be deployed around the world. Both ships will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.