WATCH: Exploring HMS Queen Elizabeth

Would you like a tour of HMS Queen Elizabeth? Well this video gives you that tour with a intriguing look at some of the departments on board and what their role will be on the new carrier.

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.

Crew are currently moving aboard the supercarrier and sea trials begin in the Spring.


  1. You are absolutely wrong. The tabloids question from day 1 has been: why on earth spend billions on building a 40 jet aircraft capacity carrier and only deploy it with 12.

    They have an excellent point. All this drivel about “tailored” air groups is just spin to cover up the penny pinching nature of UK government and UK defence spending that history has shown, time and time and time again, to be false economy.

    No other countries spout the same rubbish. US carriers go to sea with Jet based air groups. So does India, Russia, & China. That’s because the whole point & essence of carrier aviation is to put fast attack jets at sea. There is no other point.

    As for using the Queen Elizabeth’s to deliver humanitarian aid? Are you frikkin’ serious??? Why not use the Astutes, it would make as much sense.

    Spouting this brand of UK defence coolaid is just as bad, and maybe worse, than the (made up) behavior you accuse the tabloids.

    These wonderful ships need to deploy with a minimum of two permanently assigned F-35B squadrons with annual deployment of a third. Both of them. At the same time. Practicing and letting the bad guys see the UK practice, will deter aggression far more than the currently planned paper tiger.

    • Yes – Of course it’s about money (the Americans can afford ten carriers with dedicated fast jet allocations permanently aboard, because they also have the Wasp and America class AND a ton of other specialised-role ships). We don’t, so the idea of the TAG was to make the QE Class a ‘swing role’ vessel – a new idea.

      I don’t think that was a ‘cover up’ – It’s always been part of the design from day one – We don’t have the cash for more than two, so this is how we make the best of the asset. Not as a dedicated (but underused) carrier of pointy strike aircraft, but as a general purpose floating airbase.

      I’m not sure India, China or Russian carriers are going to sea with much of anything most of the time.

      I would have thought that a QE class – with a tailored air group of Chinooks and Merlins would be a hugely effective tool for humanitarian relief – just on the basis of the sheer volume of materiel it could deliver.

      • Of course the UK can afford it. One of the richest countries in the world that, if it really did spend 2% of GDP on defenc (instead of cooking the books to make it seem so), could easily afford to have one carrier operate at all times with a full deck with the other periodically joining.

        The QE’s would be terrible at humanitarian relief, how exactly would you get the stores ashore? Very few ports can handle a QE even if it made sense to dock alongside. By helicopter? A ridiculously expensive way to move anything and quite incapable of carrying heavier equipment.

        The army ro-ro’s or the amphib shipping would be far, far, far, far, better choices.

        The Indians, Russians & Chinese do not talk about or actually perform the tailored swing role BS that the UK espouses. Because it’s stupid.


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