HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier - UK:

HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carrier, the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy and capable of carrying up to forty aircraft. She was named by Queen Elizabeth II on 4 July 2014, was expected to begin sea trials in March 2017, and was scheduled to be formally commissioned in May 2017. The sea trials, however, were delayed until summer 2017. Her first Commanding Officer is Commodore Jerry Kyd, the former captain of HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious.

HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier

Unlike most large carriers she is not fitted with catapults and arrestor wires and is instead designed to operate V/STOL aircraft; her air wing will typically consist of F-35B Lightning II fighter-bombers and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare. The design emphasises flexibility, with accommodation for 250 Royal Marines and the ability to support them with attack helicopters and troop transports up to Chinook size and larger. She is the second Royal Navy vessel to bear the name HMS Queen Elizabeth and is to be based at HMNB Portsmouth.

The two ships of the Queen Elizabeth class (the other being HMS Prince of Wales) are each expected to be capable of carrying forty aircraft, a maximum of thirty-six F-35s and four helicopters. The 2010 SDSR anticipated the routine deployment of twelve F-35Bs, but a typical warload will be 24 F-35Bs and some helicopters. These could be a Maritime Force Protection package of nine anti-submarine Merlin HM2 and five Merlin Crowsnest for airborne early warning; alternatively a Littoral Manoeuvre package could include a mix of RAF Chinooks, Army Apaches, Merlin HC4 and Wildcat HM2. As of September 2013 six landing spots are planned, but the deck could be marked out for the operation of ten medium helicopters at once, allowing the lift of a company of 250 troops. The hangars are designed for CH-47 Chinook operations without blade folding and for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, whilst the aircraft lifts can accommodate two Chinooks with unfolded blades.

HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier

The two ships of the Queen Elizabeth class will each carry four Passenger/Crew Transfer Boats (PTBs) made by Blyth-based company Alnmaritec. Each PTB carries 36 passengers and two crew to operate the vessel. The first boat named is named "Swordfish", after the World War II-era aircraft of that name. The boat 13.1m long and is davit-launched. To enable the craft to fit into the docking area the navigation and radar masts are fitted with Linak actuators so that they can be lowered automatically from the command console. The enclosed cabin is heated and there is a set of heads forward. The second of the four PTB is named "Buccaneer", also after the aircraft. More details