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HMS Queen Elizabeth Named

HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Queen Elizabeth 1

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It is worth noting that there has been one previous HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was completed 100 years earlier. The new ship's name is both the continuation of this historic Royal Navy name and a tribute to the Queen. Those behind the project, which costs an estimated 6.2 billion pounds overall, say the QE Class will be the centrepiece of Britain's naval capability. Pretty impressive ship! One of the gun turrets now sits outside the Imperial War Museum in London.

HMS Queen Elizabeth was officially named by the monarch at ceremony in Rosyth Dockyard, Fife. Her Majesty described the ship, which will carry fighter jets and helicopters around the world, as 'source of inspiration'. She pressed a button to release bottle of Isle of Islay malt whisky to 'christen' ship rather than traditional champagne. Bowmore distillery provided its 'Bowmore Surf' whisky for the ceremony to celebrate Scottish links. The unusual choice of whisky - rather than champagne - for naming the ship was made as a nod to the prominent role Scottish docks and workers have had in its construction.

Earlier, First Sea Lord George Zambellas described the ship as 'a steel-clad phoenix' which will give rebirth to British sea power when it becomes fully operational in 2020.

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At the naming ceremony, Her Majesty said: "In sponsoring this new aircraft carrier, I believe the Queen Elizabeth, a flagship for the Royal Navy, will be a source of inspiration and pride for us all. The Lord High Admiral, the Duke of Edinburgh, joins me in congratulating all in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance on this magnificent achievement and wishing the first ship's company well in the time ahead. Wherever this ship may serve, whatever tasks may be asked of her, let all those who serve on her know that on this day she was blessed with the prayers of us all for her success and for her safe return to calm waters. I name this ship Queen Elizabeth, may god bless her and all who sail in her."

The naming of the warship comes five years after the first metal was cut on the vessel and 33 months after the first section entered the dry dock at Rosyth to begin being put together.
The ship and a second vessel, the under-construction HMS Prince of Wales, are the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy.

The two ships are both termed Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and are being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), a partnership of BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defence. Overall, six shipyards around the UK - Appledore, Birkenhead, Govan, Portsmouth, Rosyth and Tyne - have been involved in building various parts of the carriers.

At 72,000 tons and 932 feet long, the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier is taller than Nelson's Column and considerablywider than the M25 at its widest point.

She generates enough energy to power Swindon, she can produce 500 tons of fresh water a day, and travel 500 miles a day, too. Above all, she will be able to deliver 36 F-35 Lightning strike fighters and 1,000 troops from the largest piece of British sovereignterritory afloat.

The ship features a new style of 'twin island' command points - one at the front for steering and one at the back for aircraft direction.

Thanks to the cutting-edge technology on board, commanders on the bridge will be able to see 250 miles away.

The carrier's range is said to be 10,000 nautical miles and the ship is fitted with a long range 3D radar that is capable of tracking

more than 1,000 targets at once or spotting a tennis ball travelling at 2,000 miles per hour.


The F-35 Lightning is the cutting-edge fighter plane which will launch from HMS Queen Elizabeth when she is fully operational from 2020.

The state-of-the-art jets, one of which is pictured on the carrier, will be specially modified with a powerful verticallift system to help them take off and land from the relatively short space of the carriers runway. A fully-equipped HMS Queen Elizabeth will be able to carry 40 of these jets. The ships' mighty central lift can transport two of the planes from the hold onto the deck every minute. They will then be able to take off at a rate of one every 30 seconds, meaning the entire contingent could theoretically be airborne in 20 minutes. The planes can fly at 1.6 times the speed of sound (around 1,200mph) and have a maximum altitude of 50,000ft. They will replace the old Harrier jump-jets, which were retired in 2010. The RAF has ordered 48 of the fighters from U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and has so far received three.