HMS Queen Elizabeth Arrives in Portsmouth

Britain’s future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier sailed into her home port of Portsmouth for the first time today.

The 65,000-tonne carrier was greeted by thousands of people lining the Portsmouth seafront. Sailors lined the flight deck of the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy as she passed Portsmouth’s Round Tower. HMS Queen Elizabeth was also greeted with a flypast from the Fleet Air Arm, including Wildcat and Merlin helicopters and Hawk jets.

The UK has 11 state-of-the-art F-35 Lightning II jets and 120 UK personnel training in the United States. By the end of this year that will be 14 jets, with trial flights from the carrier’s deck on track to begin next year.

The ship will berth at the newly-named and upgraded Princess Royal Jetty at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth, which will be home to both of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.

The second, HMS Prince of Wales, will be officially named in a ceremony at Rosyth next month. Both aircraft carriers are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between the Ministry of Defence and industry.

The berth has been upgraded and strengthened to support the carriers as part of a £100 million raft of infrastructure upgrades which took place ahead of the arrival of the ship.

A total of 3.2 million cubic metres of sediment, equivalent to 1,280 Olympic swimming pools has been removed from the harbour and approach channel, making it wide and deep enough to accommodate the enormous 65,000 tonne ships.

Carrier Key Facts:

Each carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and is 280 metres in length.
Top speed is upwards of 25 knots.
The carriers will have a crew of around 700, increasing to 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B aircraft and four Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.
The flight deck is 70 metres wide and 280 metres long – enough space for three football pitches
Each carrier keeps 45 days’ worth of food in its stores.
Each carrier is made up of 17 million parts.
There are 364,000 metres of pipes inside each of the Ships.

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