HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth: Royal Navy Sailors Make Themselves At Home

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Personnel on the Royal Navy's latest aircraft carrier have moved into their new home.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is set to be Britain's future flagship, now has a 700-strong ship's company on board.

HMS Queen Elizabeth crew

The Royal Navy said that living on board the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier is an important step in bringing her to life.

Commanding Officer Captain Jerry Kyd described the effort needed to get to this point from naval personnel, the Ministry of Defence and industry colleagues, as "immense". Sub Lieutenant Reece Statham-Quilty, Weapons Engineer, said:

"Living on board is a significant milestone for both the programme and the ship's company. We can really see the ship come to life."

The aircraft carrier is the largest vessel ever built for the Royal Navy, which sees her as a highly versatile defence asset.

During her estimated 50-year working life, she will be available for various operations, high-intensity war fighting to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

She provides the Armed Forces with a four-acre military operating base which can be deployed worldwide.

The ship's company has spent recent months getting used to the high-tech systems, undergoing training and even having meals made in the state-of-the-art galley.

The carrier is 280 metres long and has a top speed of more than 25 knots, while the flight deck is 70 metres wide and 280 metres long - enough space for three football pitches.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth is in the advanced stages of her test and commissioning phase and will undertake her maiden sea trials programme in the summer.

Radars and ship communication and combat systems, plus the power and propulsion system, are some of the areas which have been tested.