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Queen Elizabeth class

Aircraft carrier

Queen Elizabeth class

The Queen Elizabeth class carriers will be the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy

 
 
Entered service Expected in 2017
Crew 1 600 men (with aircrew)
Sea endurance 19 000 km
Dimensions and displacement
Length 284 m
Beam 73 m
Draught 11 m
Flight deck length ?
Flight deck width ?
Hangar deck length 155 m
Displacement, standard 65 000 tons
Displacement, full load ?
Propulsion and speed
Speed over 25 knots
Gas turbine Rolls-Royce Marine Trent MT30 (48 000 hp)
Diesel generators 4 x Wartsila (2 x 12 000 hp, 2 x 15 000 hp)
Aircraft
Fixed wing F-35B
Helicopters CH-47 Chinook, Merlin, Lynx Wildcat, WAH-64 Apache
Armament
Artillery Phalanx CIWS, 30-mm naval guns

 

   Two Queen Elizabeth class carriers are currently under construction for the Royal Navy. It is planned that two ships of the class will be built. The first of the class, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was laid down in 2009. It is expected to become operational in 2017. The sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, was laid down in 2011 and is expected to be commissioned with the Royal Navy in 2020. These will be the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy. The Queen Elizabeth class ships will be much more capable than the current Invincible class light aircraft carriers.

   The Queen Elizabeth class warships are capable of carrying over 40 aircraft and helicopters. Once operational these aircraft carries will operate F-35B short take-off and vertical landing multi-role fighters. These will perform air defense, ground attack and reconnaissance missions. The F-35 Lightning II has low radar cross-section due to stealthy design and radar absorbent materials. These warships will also operate a mix of CH-47 Chinook, Merlin and Lynx Wildcat helicopters for utility and anti-submarine warfare roles. Air group might also include WAH-64 Apache attack helicopters.

   The hangar accommodates up to 20 aircraft or helicopters. These aircraft carriers will have two elevators for the aircraft. Each elevator can lift two F-35 or similar aircraft from the hangar to the flight deck in 60 seconds.

   The new aircraft carrier has two smaller islands, instead of one larger. The forward island is for navigating the ship. The rear island is for controlling flying operations.

   The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers will be armed with Phalanx close-in weapon systems to counter airborne threats and 30-mm naval guns to counter seaborne threats.

   These new aircraft carriers will have integrated full electric propulsion. The Queen Elizabeth class ships will be powered by a Rolls-Royce Marine Trent MT30 gas turbine, developing 48 000 hp. Also there will be four Wartsila diesel generators.

   Currently the future of the HMS Prince of Wales is unclear due to funding problems. The decision weather to operate this ship, sell it or mothball it will be taken in 2015.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) 2009 ? expected in 2017

under construction

HMS Prince of Wales (R09) 2011 ? expected in 2020

under construction

 

 

Video of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier

 
Queen Elizabeth class

Queen Elizabeth class

Queen Elizabeth class

Queen Elizabeth class

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