The crew of Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth flashed up the new carrier’s long range radar as part of ongoing preparations to ready the leviathan for sea next year.
The S1850M radar – the same as those fitted to Type 45 destroyers – is a large black slab (over eight tonnes, 32 square metres) sitting on top of the carrier’s forward island.
It was lifted into place by the huge Goliath crane at Rosyth dockyard back in November 2013 – long before the ship was ‘launched’ by the Queen.
Since then the ever-growing ship’s company and engineers from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance have been toiling on the ‘setting to work’ phase of the 65,000-tonne warship’s constructions, preparing its myriad of complex systems for use.
The radar has not been switched to full power – with hundreds of people working on her daily there are power and safety limitations to bear in mind.
But even on ‘restricted duties’ the radar immediately began compiling an air picture, tracking aircraft on approach to Glasgow airport (40 miles to the west of Rosyth) as well as transatlantic traffic to and from the rest of the UK.
Image: Royal Navy