Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Captain Jerry Kyd, talks about the exciting future of the new carrier and what it will mean for the Royal Navy.
The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will be the largest surface warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy and will represent a significant increase in capability. The vessels will be utilised by all three branches of the UK Armed Forces and will provide eight acres of sovereign territory. Both ships will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from high intensity conflict to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief. The class will have increased survivability as a result of the separation and distribution of power generation machinery throughout each ship.
The class has been designed with twin islands, which separates the running of the ship from the flying operations resulting in greater visibility of flying operations. Surprisingly for their sheer scale, each ship will only have a total crew of 679, only increasing to the full complement of 1,600 when the air elements are embarked. This is made possible by extensive automation of many systems.
Minister for the Armed Forces, Mike Penning MP, said:
“These magnificent ships have created thousands of jobs in Rosyth and across the UK, and I am proud to meet the men and women who are bringing them into service.
These carriers will spearhead Britain’s sea power for the next 50 years, keeping our nation safe at home and protecting our interests abroad. They are just part of our investment in a growing Royal Navy, backed by a defence budget that will rise every year for the rest of the decade.”
Captain Jerry Kyd, the Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said:
“The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are the product of a pioneering partnership between UK industry and the Ministry of Defence. As the Royal Navy’s flagships for the next 50 years, these ships will employ cutting edge technology to deliver fighting power at sea and over land.
Symbolising our nation in both steel and spirit, the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers will be powerful ambassadors for Britain on the global stage, in both peace time and times of conflict. These ships truly will be at the forefront of British military power projection for decades for generations to come.”
Jon Pearson, Delivery Director for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance said:
“The scale and complexity of the QE Class programme demonstrates the ability of British Industry to deliver world-class products and capability to our Armed Forces.
Both ships are at an highly advanced state, and it was a pleasure to host the Minister on HMS Queen Elizabeth as the Aircraft Carrier Alliance prepares her for the Ship’s Company living on board early next year.”
Currently in the final stages of completion, HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to go sea for contractor trials in the New Year.
She’ll return to the Forth once those are done for a final period of fitting out and testing.
She is due in Portsmouth around the 9th of May next year.
The Queen Elizabeth class mark a change from expressing carrier power in terms of number of aircraft carried, to the number of sortie’s that can be generated from the deck. The class are not the largest class of carrier in the world but they are most likely the smallest and least expensive carrier the Royal Navy could build which still have the advantages that large carriers offer.