HMS Queen Elizabeth And HMS Prince Of Wales: 12 Key Facts On Britain's Aircraft Carriers
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are the largest and most powerful ships ever built for the Royal Navy.
The older of the two aircraft carriers, Queen Elizabeth, is to become the UK's next fleet flagship.
At the beginning of 2021, the UK's Carrier Strike Group was declared ready for operations, ahead of its first operational deployment later this year.
According to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Carrier Strike Group is expected to reach Full Operating Capability by December 2023.
In October, the aircraft carrier returned to base after forming a UK Carrier Strike Group for the first time during exercises in the North Sea.
Her sister ship and the second of the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, HMS Prince of Wales, returned to Portsmouth Naval Base in March 2020, after visiting her affiliated city of Liverpool and conducting sea trials in the Irish Sea.
She commissioned into the Royal Navy in December 2019, before opening to the public for the first time during the visit to Liverpool.
The Queen Elizabeth-class ships are the Royal Navy's first aircraft carriers to be built since HMS Ark Royal was scrapped in 2010.
12 Key Facts On The Carriers
1) The project to build HMS Queen Elizabeth and sister ship HMS Prince of Wales cost more than £6bn.
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 364,000m 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 their stores.
10) The entire Ship's Company of 700 can be served a meal within 90 minutes – 45 minutes when at action station.
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 250,000km of electrical cable and more than 8,000km of fibre optic cable in each of the ships.
Cover image: Royal Navy.