HMS Queen Elizabeth Debuts at Portsmouth
"Today we welcome our mighty new warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth to her home for the very first time." - Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon
Greeted by thousands of people who gathered along the the harbour for a glimpse, HMS Queen Elizabeth made her debut at Portsmouth this week. It is the largest war ship ever built for the United Kingdom. 38ft longer than the world-famous RMS Titanic.
Earlier in July, a young Merlin helicopter pilot made history with the first deck landing on the warship. Having made good progress in sea trials, the £3bn aircraft carrier weighing in at 65 tonnes will now enter its final phase of development.
PM Theresa May said: "This is the biggest and most complex warship ever built for the Royal Navy."
She then added: "The skill and professionalism of the Royal Navy are world renowned."
Upon entering her home port, sailors lined the flight deck as the crowds cheered with excitement and pride.
What has amazed many is the sheer size of the warship, which has two islands. essentially making it a floating air base. Traditionally warships are built with one island, however the forward island wil provide space for ship control functions and the second island (FLYCO) is for flying control.
The Royal Navy said: '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.'
- Top speed: 25 knots
- Length: 932 ft
- Width: 239 ft
- Weight: 65,000 tonnes
- Range: 10,000 miles