HMS Queen Elizabeth sails past HMS Prince of Wales for first time 041219 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY
Sea vessels

HMS Queen Elizabeth And HMS Prince Of Wales: 12 Key Facts On Britain's Aircraft Carriers

The Queen Elizabeth-class ships are the Royal Navy's first aircraft carriers to be built since HMS Ark Royal was scrapped in 2010.

HMS Queen Elizabeth sails past HMS Prince of Wales for first time 041219 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY

They are the largest and most powerful ships ever built for the Royal Navy.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has returned to her home base of Portsmouth and is "on the cusp of operations".

The £3 billion aircraft carrier has been in UK waters undergoing sea and flight trials for 70 days ahead of her maiden deployment in 2021.

Her return marks the first time she has arrived in Portsmouth as a "fully-trained aircraft carrier", according to the Royal Navy.

Sister ship HMS Prince of Wales returned to Portsmouth Naval Base in March, after visiting her affiliated city of Liverpool and conducting sea trials in the Irish Sea.

She commissioned into the Royal Navy in December, before opening to the public for the first time during the visit to Liverpool, earlier this year.

The Queen Elizabeth-class ships are the Royal Navy's first aircraft carriers to be built since HMS Ark Royal was scrapped in 2010.

HMS Prince of Wales (Picture: Royal Navy).

12 Key Facts On The Carriers

1) The project to build HMS Queen Elizabeth and sister ship HMS Prince of Wales cost more than £6 billion.

2) Each aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed of 25 knots.

3) The flight deck of Queen Elizabeth is 280m long and 70m wide - enough space for nearly three football pitches.

4) The ship is the second in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth. A ship of the same name was planned in the 1960s but was never constructed.

5) Prince of Wales is the seventh ship to carry the name, with the first being launched in 1765.

6) Each carrier will have a total crew of 679, increasing to around 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.

7) There are around 364,000 metres of pipes inside each ship.

8) Both Queen Elizabeth-class carriers have two 33-tonne propellers, designed to deliver around 50,000 horsepower each.

9) Both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will keep 45 days' worth of food in its stores.

10) The entire Ship's Company of 700 can be served a meal within 90 minutes - 45 minutes when at action station.

British F-35Bs on HMS Queen Elizabeth 181019 CREDIT BFBS
British F-35Bs on HMS Queen Elizabeth during flight trials off the east coast of America.

11) Each Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier has a total of 16 decks, comprising nine decks from the hull to the flight deck and a further seven in each of the two islands.

12) There is more than 250,000 km of electrical cable and more than 8,000 km of fibre optic cable in each of the ships.

Cover image: Royal Navy.