Construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth

Construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth
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Image by Defence Images
HMS Queen Elizabeth under construction at Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest aircraft carrier ever to be built for the Royal Navy, weighing a hefty 65,000 tonnes.

She measures 283m from bow to stern and is 70m wide: her flight deck alone is just under four acres in length. She will have a crew of 680, with room for a further 900 personnel from embarked squadrons or Royal Marine Commando units.

Merlin helicopters will operate in the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Airborne Early Warning (AEW) roles, as well as providing force protection and conducting other roles, including evacuating medical emergencies and the all-important collection of mail.

The Navy is shortly due to take ownership of the Merlin Mark 3 aircraft from the RAF, which will also operate from QEC carriers. These will replace the Commando Helicopter Force’s venerable Sea King Mark 4.

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Photographer: Andrew Linnett
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