UK's largest ever warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, sets sail for the first time

asianobserve

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Another line was written in the history books today as the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy set sail for the first time. Under the guidance of a flotilla of super tugs, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth set out from Rosyth, Scotland on her first six-week sea trial off the northeast coast of Scotland to carry out initial tests of the future flagship's fundamental systems.

Today's departure marks a major milestone for the Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, which is currently being fitted out. Each carrier is 280 m (920 ft) long, 70 m (230 ft) abeam, has a draught of 11 m (36 ft) with a flight deck covering 16,000 m² (170,000 ft²) and can manage a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h, 29 mph). Though larger than the previous Invincible class carriers, they carry a smaller crew thanks to their heavily automated systems and networked design.

Today's trials aren't that much of a change for the approximately 700 crew that make up the present complement of HMS Queen Elizabeth. They have been living aboard ship for the past two weeks while carrying out watches and dry runs as if the carrier was already at sea. According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), after completing the initial trials that will evaluate the carrier's speed, maneuverability, weapons, power and propulsion, the ship will return to Rosyth for testing and maintenance before heading south to her homeport at Portsmouth for formal transfer to the Navy later this year.

Though the Queen Elizabeth's main weapon during her 50 years of service will be an air arm of at least a dozen F-35B Lightning II fighter aircraft, the first years of service will use only helicopters until the fixed-wing planes and their pilots are ready for deployment. When the air crews and Royal Marines are taken aboard, the ship's complement will swell to 1,600.

"This is a hugely significant moment for the Royal Navy, for all our Armed Forces and for our island nation," says Admiral Sir Philip Jones First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. "Once in service HMS Queen Elizabeth will be the largest aircraft carrier in the world outside the United States, and the first designed from the outset to operate a fifth generation aircraft.

"Already this ship represents the best of the UK's industrial and engineering expertise, and once in service she will symbolize our military power and authority in the world for decades to come. There is still much work to do between now and then, but be in no doubt: a new era of British maritime power is about to begin."

The computer simulation video below from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance shows how HMS Queen put to sea.


http://newatlas.com/hms-queen-elizabeth-sea-trials/50213/
 

asianobserve

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Video of the HMS Queen Elizabeth on her first voyage under her own power.

 

asianobserve

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Looks Impressive .
She is currently the 3rd biggest aircraft carrier in the World after USS Ford and USS Nimitz classes.



HMS Queen Elizabeth is the biggest among ski jump carriers:

 

asianobserve

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With her compliment of 36 F-35Bs she will be a force to reckon with:


She is also one of the major component in the Worldwide F-35 system.
 
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SKC

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Some good photographs of HMS Queen Elizabeth, both inside and outside:











Very Clean and Evenly spaced out interior and deck. The English has built really beautiful warship here!
 

Neil

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it is not nuclear power right? I think here in lies her limitation. Otherwise an impressive beast.
 

asianobserve

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it is not nuclear power right? I think here in lies her limitation. Otherwise an impressive beast.
It's conventional powered. But it would not be much of a problem for operations since the RN has a good number of tankers as well as those from her allies especially the USN that can refuel HMS QE at sea. Of course she would need more refueling than nuclear powered aircraft carriers as aside from the need for fuel of her engines she also needs to take in fuel for her aircraft compliment.
 

Neil

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It's conventional powered. But it would not be much of a problem for operations since the RN has a good number of tankers as well as those from her allies especially the USN that can refuel HMS QE at sea. Of course she would need more refueling than nuclear powered aircraft carriers as aside from the need for fuel of her engines she also needs to take in fuel for her aircraft compliment.

True, also various bases spread across the world. But still limits her range, has to be factored every time Britain plans any ops for her. Cost is another big factor. Both that of her fuel and her maintenance. Nuclear power engines are easier to maintain than diesel powered.

Btw any idea why they didn't go for nuclear propulsion? US would have happily supplied if they lacked tech.
 

no smoking

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True, also various bases spread across the world. But still limits her range, has to be factored every time Britain plans any ops for her. Cost is another big factor. Both that of her fuel and her maintenance. Nuclear power engines are easier to maintain than diesel powered.
Btw any idea why they didn't go for nuclear propulsion? US would have happily supplied if they lacked tech.
Firstly, the nuclear propulsion is lots more expensive to build, which would have been a big challenge for Royal navy to get approval on the budget;
Secondly, easier maintenance doesn't necessarily mean cheaper maintenance, at least the work requires staffs from senior training background and the tech standards of the parts are more advanced;
Finally, in the near future, unlike US navy which is regarded as an independent strategic strike force, Royal navy will no longer work as an independent strike force, she will play as an additional force cooperating with other forces or even other countries' navy, the frequency and duration of her mission will be limited and short.
 

asianobserve

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True, also various bases spread across the world. But still limits her range, has to be factored every time Britain plans any ops for her. Cost is another big factor. Both that of her fuel and her maintenance. Nuclear power engines are easier to maintain than diesel powered.

Btw any idea why they didn't go for nuclear propulsion? US would have happily supplied if they lacked tech.
Cost. Nuclear propulsion is vastly more expensive to install. Also, as part of cost saving measures is the use of F-35B so as not to require catapults and traps.
 

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