Carrier update July
HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH
The UK Royal Navy’s first new aircraft carrier has been formally named the HMS Queen Elizabeth, during a ceremony at Rosyth dockyard near Edinburgh, Scotland. Performed on 4 July by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the milestone marks the completion of the lead vessel’s 65,000t structure.
First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas says the new carrier’s role “will be global, strategic and one of inter-service and international partnership.”
With the RN currently without any fixed-wing carrier-based aircraft, the event included a flypast by the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows aerobatic display team, several of the UK's current military helicopter types, and three BAE Systems Hawk T1s. A planned appearance by classic Fleet Air Arm types including a de Havilland Sea Vixen and Supermarine Seafire fell foul of a low cloud base. An aspiration to have a Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter participate was also thwarted. Attendees at the naming event were, however, able to see a full-scale replica of the short take-off and vertical landing type positioned at the top of the carrier’s “ski-jump” ramp. This combination will next come together during embarked sea trials which are due to take place off the east coast of the USA in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The ceremony was conducted with the RN’s lone remaining Invincible-class carrier HMS Illustrious docked alongside its replacement.
A decision on whether to bring second-of-class carrier HMS Prince of Wales into service will be made as part of the UK’s 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review process. Defence secretary Philip Hammond again showed his support for adding the vessel to the RN fleet, noting that a decision will be a trade-off between "strategic capability, and cost".
Link to item on this website with videos of the naming ceremony.
After a successful undocking from No.1 dock HMS Queen Elizabeth was safely moored into her new position at J and K berth on 17 July 2014. Here's a stunning time-lapse video of HMS Queen Elizabeth being moved from her dry dock to her fitting-out berth at Rosyth. The team at the Aircraft Carrier Alliance managed to crunch the three-hour operation involving eight tugs and one 65,000-tonne leviathan into a video just 64 seconds long.
Link to item on this website on QE Float out 17 July (with onward links to other news items with videos and images)
PRICE OF WALES
On 22 July CB02A and B passed HMS Illustrious on the day she entered Portsmouth for the last time. The sections left Portsmouth on 22 July to make the four day journey arriving at Rosyth over the weekend. The arrival of the first Prince of Wales block constructed in Rosyth marks a key milestone for the second carrier signalling the countdown to the start of assembly. In quick succession CB02A and B will be joined by LB03 (Govan), CB02C (Portsmouth) and CB03 (Tyne) before docking begins into No.1 dock in September.
In this video, Paul Bowsher, the BAE Systems project manager for Portsmouth talks about the three sections of Prince of Wales Centre about to leave by barge to Rosyth for assembly.
Find the latest blog from the Aircraft Carrier Alliance Managing Director here.