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UK carrier named for Queen Elizabeth

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 7, 2014
The Queen Elizabeth II at the naming ceremony in Scotland. (UK MoD Crown Copyright)
The Queen Elizabeth at the naming ceremony in Scotland. (UK MoD Crown Copyright)

The first of two new aircraft carriers for the UK Royal Navy has been officially named Queen Elizabeth by the Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony in Scotland.

They are being built at the Rosyth dockyard on the Firth of Forth, and at 70,000 tonnes when loaded, will be the largest vessels to ever enter service with the RN. The vessels will embark up to 48 aircraft including F-35B Lightning II fighters and helicopters.

“HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest ship that the Royal Navy has ever had, and is a true demonstration of the UK at its best, with over 10,000 people across the nation working together to deliver her,” UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement. “This occasion marks a major milestone in regenerating the UK’s aircraft carrier capability, enhancing our ability to project power anywhere in the world.”

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HMS Queen Elizabeth is not due to be launched until later this year and, after a fitout, will commence sea trials in 2017 and aircraft trials with F-35Bs in 2018. She will be joined by HMS Prince of Wales in 2020.

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16 Comments

  • Andrew

    says:

    I feel sure that Rosyth is on the Firth of Forth across the river from Edinburgh

  • MarkG

    says:

    Great progress for the RN.

    However, any chance you guys can get the name right. It is HMS Queen Elizabeth, not HMS Queen Elizabeth II. The QE is named after the Tudor Queen, and historically was a battleship, as was the last Prince of Wales which is the second new carrier currently under construction.

  • Colin C

    says:

    Oh, dear! One carrier and NO Harriers! What WILL the FAA play with until the F-35Bs arrive in 2018?

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      Colin, the Queen Elizabeth won’t start sea trials until 2017 and wasn’t due to start aircraft trials until 2018 anyway, so it’s not an issue.

      Cheers

      Andrew

  • Adrian Flitcroft

    says:

    I suppose you have an especial interest in HMS Queen Elizabeth as it is entirely probable that we will be conducting joint operations with our new ship with your new ship, the Canberra. In all the congratulations for our new ship, congratulations on your new ships. At least you will be sure to operate both of yours, our politicians are stillto make up their minds about the Prince of Wales.

  • Lazybones

    says:

    3 times the size of HMS Illustrious. That’s a big boat for the Royal Navy. Can’t wait to see her set sail in 2017 if the fit out is completed on time. I won’t hold my breath.

  • Bruce

    says:

    I can just imagine how proud those sailors will be taking over a brand new ship. Good luck .

  • Colin C

    says:

    Point taken, thanks Andrew, but I was just wondering how the FAA aircrew remain current without any F/W aircraft?

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      Colin – my understanding is there are quite a few FAA pilots flying Harriers on secondment to the USMC at the moment, plus the first FAA pilots will begin converting to F-35Bs at MCAS Beaufort quite soon. The RAF is also standing up 617SQN at Beaufort next year and they should have quite a few pilots ready to go by the time the ship is ready.

      Cheers

      Andrew

  • geoff

    says:

    Hi Gentlemen

    The UK has taken delivery of 3 F35B’s and RN/RAF aircrew are on site in the States learning to fly them. The idea is to create a joint services group between the RAF and FAA so the groundwork is in place now and accelerating with the next order to be confirmed soon. As I understand it the F35’s will be available in numbers from 2016

  • Andy

    says:

    After serving 2 years on HMS ARK ROYAL and seeing her being towed out of Portsmouth to be scrapped last year whilst on holiday from Australia, I feel nothing but huge pride that finally the Royal Navy has a new Aircraft Carrier to head up whats left of our fleet.

  • Lazybones

    says:

    They scrapped HMS Ark Royal!!, where have I been! I still have vivid memories of seeing her steaming to the Falklands with a wing of sea Harriers on deck. At least some of her parts will live on in HMS Illustrious.

    With the deck of the Queen Elizabeth being so much bigger do they still need a VSTOL fighter?

    • australianaviation.com.au

      says:

      Lazybones – HMS Ark Royal was built after the Falklands. The two carriers used in that campaign were Invincible and Hermes.

      Cheers

      Andrew

  • Rob

    says:

    Andrew, something for the notebook: the RN pilots doing USN secondments and exchanges are on Rhinos, not Harriers, and are having heaps of fun flying from the CVNs. One or two have done the SFWS (the RN AWI course was ditched with the Sea Harriers) and LSO courses. Some have also done stints in L-class ships to maintain multi-spot STOVL movement and handling currency. Their influence lingers, as a few words of RN Jackspeak have entered the USN lexicon!

  • Bill Hart

    says:

    Just about fortyfive years too late, in my day it was CVA 01 and 02 which the defence planners wanted, but the governments concentrated on a more expansive spoon fed welfare state so they were scuttled before a keel was laid down. As a consequence the UK just barely scraped a win in the Falklands.

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