HMS Queen Elizabeth

The motto of the Royal Navy is: “If you wish for peace, prepare for war”. The completion of HMS Queen Elizabeth seems to be an indication of that very idea – a phenomenally powerful warship, but also one that lacks a clearly defined role in our navy. Although Brittania no longer rules the waves – at least numerically – the HMS Queen Elizabeth, and her sister ship the HMS Prince of Wales, is the showpiece of a “great global maritime nation” whose technical proficiency can rival any other military across the globe.

Although the last ship to be built on Tyneside was completed in December 2006 (RFA Largs Bay), HMS Queen Elizabeth features components built on Tyneside, helping to support industrial jobs in the region.

Set to be operational in 2020 – the £3 billion vessel boasts some impressive statistics – let’s take a look at them:

– The vessel is 280m long, which would take around 4 minutes to walk along.

– The vessel weighs 65,000 tonnes.

– A service life of 50 years.

– 679 permanent crew. Increasing to 1,600 when the air elements of the ship are embarked.

– There is an operating theatre and isolation ward with life support machines sustained by the 110MW of electrical power that the ship can generate.

– Concept designs were produced in 1999.

The aircraft carrier – currently bereft of aircraft – will only begin to carry fixed-wing aircraft once the new F-25B Lightning II jets are built.

The ship is most likely to be used on deployments to aid humanitarian missions in a swift and effective manner or to provide a sovereign base improving Britain’s capability to fight terrorism abroad.