The Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers

BuildersAircraft Carrier Alliance
OperatorsRoyal Navy
Built 2009-2017

The Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy are constructed through a collaboration known as the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, comprising BAE Systems, Babcock International, Thales Group, and the Ministry of Defence. Rosyth Dockyard also plays a crucial role in this partnership.

The Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy consist of two impressive vessels: HMS Queen Elizabeth R08 and HMS Prince of Wales R09. The Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers have redefined the capabilities of naval operations, projecting power across the seas and providing vital air support in strategic military endeavors. Let’s delve into their fascinating history.

The main striking force of the Queen Elizabeth Class F-35B

Mission Description of the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers

The primary role of the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers encompasses a multifaceted array of responsibilities crucial to naval operations. These colossal vessels serve as mobile airbases, capable of deploying and supporting a diverse range of aircraft for combat missions, reconnaissance, and humanitarian operations. Their strategic importance lies in their ability to project power across vast oceanic expanses, enabling rapid response to potential threats and providing a formidable presence in international waters.

HMS Prince Of Wales R09

Ships in the Class

The Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers consist of the two vessels. They are HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES. The lead ship of the class is HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH. She named in honor of Elizabeth I (July 4, 2014). She was commissioned into service on December 7, 2017. Notably, she forms the core of the UK Carrier Strike Group.

Like her counterpart, HMS PRINCE OF WALES plays a pivotal role in the UK’s naval capabilities. She Launched on December 21, 2017, this sister ship joined the fleet with its commissioning on December 10, 2019.

The Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers Armament Load

Close-In Weapon Systems3x 20mm Phalanx CIWS 
Guns  4x 30mm DS30M Mk2
6x 7.62mm M134 Minigun 

The Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers Specifications

Displacement 65,000 tonnes (equivalent to 64,000 long tons or 72,000 short tons)
Length 284 meters 
Beam 73 meters (240 feet), waterline beam of 39 meters 
Draught 11 meters
Speeds 25 knots
Decks 16,000 square meters
Range10,000 nautical miles 
Complement 1,600 personnel
Power Plant2x Rolls-Royce Marine Trent MT30 gas turbine engines 36 MW (48,000 horsepower)
2x Wärtsilä 16V38 and 2x 12V38 marine diesel engines 40 MW (54,000 horsepower)

Aircraft Carried

F-35B Lighning II
Apache AH64
Wildcat AH1 and HMA2
Merlin HM2 and HC4
Merlin Crowsnest AEW

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