HMS Queen Elizabeth docks in home port

Materials World magazine
1 Sep 2017

The UK’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, cost £3bln.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first in a new class of aircraft carriers and the largest British warship ever built, docked in its home port of Portsmouth Habour on 16 August. 

The 65,000-tonne vessel, which is 280m long, cost £3bln. It had been undergoing sea trials since departing Rosyth dockyard, Scotland, in June 2017.

Sir Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence, said, ‘We welcome our mighty new warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth to her home for the very first time. She is Britain’s statement to the world – a demonstration of British military power and our commitment to a bigger global role.’

Around 3.2 million cubic metres of sediment had to be removed to deepen the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour and make it suitable for HMS Queen Elizabeth. 

Construction on the vessel, which has a top speed of 25 knots, involved more than 10,000 people, according to the Royal Navy. At present it has a crew of 700, which will increase when aircraft embark – the first flight trials of F-35B Lightning fighter jets are expected to take place next year.

The two 33-tonne propellers produce 80MW of power, which could run around 50 high-speed trains. The electrical cable on the vessel stretches to 155,000 miles. 

Captain Jerry Kyd, Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, explained, ‘The Royal Navy has a very special relationship with Portsmouth dating back half a millennium and both carriers will ensure the Navy’s city remains the focal point of our great nation’s maritime power for generations to come.’

HMS Prince of Wales, the second in the Queen Elizabeth-class, is under construction in Rosyth.